Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

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Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage
Founded 2000
Headquarters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Key people
Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) (Arabic: الـهـيــئة العـامـة للسيــاحة والتـراث الـوطنـي ) is a governmental body concerned with tourism and national heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is focused on encouraging and supporting domestic tourism through sponsoring and conducting tourism events across the country and overcoming obstacles to growth of tourism, all in line with the prestige of the Kingdom and its value.

It means SCTH works paying attention to tourism as well as national and cultural heritage, preservation and care of the museums and archeological work, in addition to encouraging the participation of private sector to have a key role in the creation and establishment of tourist facilities


SCTH foundation has passed through several stages before reaching to its current structure by becoming the only public administration authorized and responsible for tourism and national heritage in the Kingdom. These stages are as follows:

  1. On 12/01/1421 AH, (16/04/2000), Saudi Council of Ministers issued Resolution No. (9), approving the establishment of “Supreme Commission for Tourism” (SCT), stressing that tourism is one of the major productive sectors in retaining Saudi tourist within the country and increase investment opportunities, developing national human resources, and expanding and creating new job opportunities for the Saudi nationals.
  2. Given the importance of Antiquities and Museums, a Royal decree No. (2/A) dated 28/02/1424 AH ( 30/04/2003), was issued to integrate Antiquities and Museums agency into SCT, accordingly, SCTA came into existence as a body responsible for implementing these tasks in addition to its responsibility on tourism.
  3. The Council of Ministers on 16/03/1429 AH (23/03/2008) issued a fresh Resolution No. (78), according to which, the name of “Supreme Commission for Tourism” (SCT) was changed to the “Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities” (SCTA), emphasizing that the tourism sector in the Kingdom has become a national reality behind which stands the State, and it requires the formation of a national authority to carry out its planning and development due to many touristic features available in the Kingdom, some of which are: *Huge archaeological treasure, rare historic sites, and historical museums, all linking the Kingdom to many ancient civilizations. *The unique geographical location of the Kingdom, its expanse and diverse terrains with a variety of climate and stunning landscapes. *Long seacoasts along the shores of Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. *Unique customs and traditions of the Saudi society and the authentic generosity and hospitality of the Saudi citizens. *Modern infrastructure with advanced services and government's strong tendency towards development of tourism sector. *Confirmed security and political stability in the kingdom, a robust economy and progressive society.
  4. On Monday, 12/9/1436 AH (29/6/2015), the Cabinet decided to change the name of “Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities” (SCTA) to “Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage” (SCTH).


From the outset, the main objective of the establishment of SCTH has been to pay attention to all aspects of the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with respect to its organization, development, and promotion. SCTH is also assigned to work for strengthening of the role of tourism and overcoming barriers impeding its growth, given the Kingdom's huge tourism potential. Its efforts include preservation, development and maintenance of antiquities and activation of tourism’s contribution to cultural and economic development.

SCTH aspires for the development of tourism sector to be in line with the values and place of Saudi Arabia in the human civilization, its influence in the international community. It wants tourism to be an important tributary of the national economy.

Mission and vision[edit]

Saudi Arabia's vision on tourism sector is based on its values, social, and civilizational dimensions in the first place, followed by its economic and social dimension, its international role and interaction with other societies and values.

Saudi Arabia's vision for tourism[edit]

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam. It seeks to bring about valuable tourism development characteristic of social, cultural, environmental, economic benefit based on Islamic values, authenticity, heritage and traditional hospitality.

Kingdom's Interest in Tourism[edit]

In the light of its excellent tourism potentials, Saudi Arabia seeks to bring about balanced and sustainable tourism development, diverse economically, socially enriching, creating job opportunities for citizens, protecting environment and cultural originality.

This task relies on active participation between the public and the private sector. The role of public sector is in the planning, guidance, motivation and creating necessary infrastructure to tourism development, along with developing information, studies and research. The private sector’s role is in the tourism investment and implementation of development policies and marketing for the tourism industry, maintaining its quality and diversity and training national workforce to best represent national tourism, all in the context of environmental conservation and authenticity of the Kingdom.

SCTH Tourism Vision[edit]

SCTH acts as a stimulating Centre, working in close partnership with various stakeholders in tourism to achieve the vision and mission of tourism in the Kingdom, as main supporters of creating a sustainable tourism development in line with Islamic values and consistent with the social, cultural and environmental conditions prevailing in the Kingdom.

SCTH Tourism Mission[edit]

SCTH is committed to facilitate successful and sustainable development of the tourism industry in the Kingdom by providing clear direction in this pursuit, working in partnership with industry leaders and partners to find and create a climate for emerging industry to achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency.

With respect to SCTH mission towards national heritage and museums, it will strengthen this sector to enable it to protect national monuments, conduct explorations and development of national museums and increase knowledge of cultural heritage in the Kingdom. In addition, effective management of national heritage, monuments, museums, and cultural resources and present it to the members of the community in the framework of the promotion of cultural tourism, Additionally to stimulate private sector investment in the projects of monuments and museum

SCTH's integrated program for the development of national tourism[edit]

In an effort to translate government’s reform and economic restructuring to reality, SCTH has carried out the following tasks:

  • Adopted a comprehensive scientific methodology in the project of planning and implementation of the national development of tourism in the past twenty years. The project includes overall strategy for the development of tourism as well as, operational plan and strategies for tourism development in the regions.
  • Planned and implemented integrated program for tourism development, which so far has included more than 125 projects and programs. This program is consistent with the overall development plans, ambitions and directions of the State’s administrative and economic development.
  • These initiatives represent an integrated program for the implementation of SCTH tasks, as well as the actual practice of measurements needed to meet challenges and overcome the social, institutional, organizational, administrative, financial, and investment obstacles through detailed operational plans performed according to the timeline
  • SCTH is looking to take advantage of the program, and the content covered by the initiatives at the State level in order to achieve a qualitative leap in the performance of important institutions of the State and its various organs, and contribute to the overall development of various sectors.

National tourism development project[edit]

Since March 2001, SCTH, simultaneously with its restructuring process, has planned for integrated national economic project, aiming at developing tourism in the Kingdom during the next twenty years. This comes in the light of its vision on the importance of strategic planning for goals and raise economic efficiency and management.

This comprehensive planning project in its third stage has paid off in the preparation of General Strategy of National Tourism Development, the fifth executive plan (intensive care phase), and 13 provincial strategies for tourism development.

SCTH Provincial Branches[edit]

SCTH has 17 Provincial Branches:

  • SCTH Riyadh Branch
  • SCTH Hail Branch
  • SCTH Al-Baha Branch
  • SCTH Asir Branch
  • SCTH Jeddah Branch
  • SCTH Al-Taif Branch
  • SCTH Al Madina Branch
  • SCTH Tabuk Branch
  • SCTA Makkah Branch
  • SCTH Jazan Branch
  • SCTH Al-Qassim Branch
  • SCTH Najran Branch
  • SCTH Al-Ahsa Branch
  • SCTH Eastern Province Branch
  • SCTH Al-Kharj Branch
  • SCTH Al-Jouf Branch
  • SCTH Northern Borders Branch


SCTH logo was designed as an expression of its identity and reflection of its vision, activities and goals it strives to achieve.

The logo design has passed through several stages, during which it witnessed a campaign and solid drive, like the development of the tourism industry itself. The first was assigning the task to a specialized institution, and then appointing a committee of marketing and advertising experts to understand the organization from within by visiting various parts of the kingdom and closely monitoring the tourism industry. These were but some of the prominent features in the development of this "unique logo".

SCTH logo with its expressive colors and symbolic angles does not describe any one idea or a particular activity. This is a work of art, open to multiple meanings and reading. It goes to describe the entity through bright colors and harmonious expression about a modern organization. The novelty and the spectrum of colors reflect the dynamism and decisiveness, while the curved lines crisscrossing and interconnecting symbolize the complexity of the tourism industry itself.

SCTH logo embodies the principle of partnership between the stakeholders that are approved by the state in the development of tourism industry. Harmonious lines of the logo converge to form a date palm tree (a sign of generosity and hospitality) and a pair of crossing swords demonstrates authority, tradition and heritage. Thus, the logo reflects the singularity and the brevity of an official institution of a modern vibrant Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the logo symbolizes the colors of a rainbow, and points to the ceremonial and geographical diversity, the wealth of the rich environments and the biodiversity in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia with its different social customs, heritage and popular cultures in its regions is represented in the logo with thirteen acute angles of a palm. In fact, there are thirteen regions in the Kingdom with attractive tourism activities that are rich and unique.

The method of drawing lines and moving without the return to a central point indicates decentralization of authority in this nascent organization. The spontaneous flow of work without active participation of central hold will eliminates delays and hindrances in the achievement of its progress.

Perhaps the adoption of ‘Zohair’ calligraphy by SCTH to write the names of regions in the logo, gives a meaningful identity for the organization. Using ‘Zohair’ script for the main titles of its various publications, confirms Commission's attention to return to Heritage and introspection. Zohair script converted to contemporary style underscores adherence to the old, at the same time giving it a touch of sophistication and openness.

Zohair script is found in the oldest Islamic inscriptions, being discovered at the time of valued companions of the Prophet Muhammed in the Arabian Peninsula. They stem from the authenticity of the Arab Islamic heritage, culturally distinct, thus becoming a milestone for SCTH to express its identity and authenticity, ensuring theme's openness to multiple readings and connotations.

MAS Center[edit]

MAS is the Arabic acronym for Tourism Information and Research Center, It is an important department of the SCTH responsible for collecting tourism data and conducting researches and related studies. According to the Article 4, paragraph 3, of the SCTH statute, a Tourism Information and Research Centre shall be established to develop and promote tourism, and to issue tourism publications in coordination with the concerned parties. Accordingly, in 2002 the Centre was established .

See also[edit]


External links[edit]