RIYADH – The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has completed the construction of four new regional museum projects in different regions of the Kingdom. The four museums will be inaugurated soon, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Monday.
The projects included the construction of new regional museums in Asir, Hail, Tabuk and Al-Jouf regions at a total cost of over SR224 million.
The four new regional museum projects comes within the sphere of one of the National Transformation Program (NTP) initiatives known as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Cultural Heritage Caring.
In dealing with museum projects, it includes the construction, expansion and development of 13 regional museums in the Kingdom’s regions.
The projects included the construction of new buildings for these museums, adding to the design and preparation of museum shows in line with the latest international designs and the latest sophisticated capabilities in the field of exhibiting antiquities and visual shows.
The new museum projects had the support of the SCTH Chairman of the Board of Directors Ahmed Bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb. The museum projects were followed up by the emirs of regions due to their prominent role in preserving the heritage and history of the region.
The museums are basic elements in the integrated tourism experience and an important source of pride about the nation and its civilization.
Each of the museums has eight halls. The first is for reception, the second for the antiquities and heritage of the pertinent region and its natural history, the third for the pre-historic eras and the dawn of history, the fourth speaks about the pre-Islamic eras, the fifth speaks on the region during the Islamic era, the sixth focuses on the modern era, the seventh has been allocated for exhibiting the people’s heritage, and the eighth is for visiting, temporary shows.
These regional museums are expected to provide thousands of direct job opportunities, as the SCTH has long been working on training a number of Saudi university graduates to work in museums, whether in specialist tasks or in the area of marketing and events related to museums.
In the design of the new museums, the SCTH has taken into consideration the architectural and heritage identity of each region, making the museums act as cultural/civilizational landmarks bearing witness on the antiquities and heritage of those regions.
The objective is to enable these museums to carry out their role in a better way to shed light on the rich culture and civilization in these regions.
This will enable the shows in these museums expand to include all the antiquities and history of these regions, in line with their historical sequence, beginning with the modern history including the traditional trades and industries.
This includes taking into consideration comprehensiveness in acquainting people with the history of the region through programs and exhibits targeting different segments of the society, age categories and levels of education of the visitors to the museum.
The new museums are also distinctive for their focus on social, cultural and scientific events and activities they hold. This is in addition to allocating some parts of the museum for investment, such that they attract people to them so that they become cultural landmarks that contribute to stimulating the tourism and cultural movement.
The national heritage activity will be transferred at the beginning of 2020 to the Ministry of Culture, which will in turn continue the march in this qualitative initiative.
The Regional Al-Jouf Museum Project is located on an area of 12,000 sq. meters. The construction costs and those for designing the display of the exhibits have totaled SR61,343,595.
The museum is characterized by its strategic location in Domat Al-Jandal overlooking an important archeological area comprising Marid Castle, Omar Mosque, neighboring Al-Nuweissir Museum, and several other landmarks of civilization in Al-Jouf.
As to the Asir Regional Museum, the project was constructed on an area estimated at over 7,000 sq. meters in downtown Abha, in the vicinity of the Asir governorate headquarters and several other major landmarks in the city, with the project’s construction costs totaling SR31,228,503.
The Hail Regional Museum has been constructed on an area of 11,000 sq. meters at a total cost of SR66,613,906. The museum is characterized by its distinctive location next to the Prince Sultan Cultural Center.
Meanwhile, the Tabuk Regional Museum project has an area of 12,854 sq. meters. The construction costs and for preparing the museum with the exhibits have totaled SR65,673,806. The project is located within the historic railway site in downtown Tabuk.