What kind of tourism do you want?

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Iqbal Al-Ah­mad — Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter, State Min­is­ter for Youth Af­fairs and Chair­man of the Higher Tourism Com­mit­tee Sheikh Sal­man Al-Hu­moud AlSabah made a good state­ment re­cently, in which he said there is an in­ten­tion to es­tab­lish a spe­cial­ized author­ity for tourism in Kuwait. The de­ci­sion comes out from the fu­ture vi­sion to make tourism one of Kuwait’s sources of in­come, the min­is­ter said. The step is be­ing taken af­ter the tourism sec­tor re­turned from com­merce min­istry to the in­for­ma­tion min­istry.

Un­der the cur­rent laws that reg­u­late en­try and exit of Kuwait as well as the prob­lems that those ‘forced’ to come to the coun­try face, th­ese news might sound laugh­able. But Al­lah may change the sit­u­a­tion to the bet­ter, which is what we hope. How­ever, that re­quires show­ing to­tal se­ri­ous­ness to re­al­ize those wishes, as well as se­ri­ous in­ten­tions and ef­fort to erad­i­cate all fac­tors that de­ter peo­ple from vis­it­ing and liv­ing in Kuwait.

What is im­por tant in the is­sue of tourism in Kuwait, and be­fore talk­ing about eas­ing pro­ce­dures or con­sult­ing ex­perts, is that we must de­cide what kind of iden­tity is re­quired for tourism in the coun­try.

My col­umn to­day is not to re­peat what I wrote in the past, but to draw the at­ten­tion to the fact that we in Kuwait will soon re­ceive two cul­tural cen­ters that will be a prece­dence in the re­gion and the world in terms of de­sign, con­tent and ca­pac­ity.

First is the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ah­mad cul­tural cen­ter, with its mag­nif­i­cent de­sign, dis­tin­guished ma­te­rial used and light­ings. It in­cludes an opera house, mul­ti­ple the­aters of var­i­ous sizes, all fully equipped, and a large li­brary. It will be able to re­ceive thou­sands of vis­i­tors daily, as park­ing lots and land­scapes are made, con­nect­ing all build­ings to­gether.

Sec­ond is the Ab­dal­lah Al-Salem cul­tural cen­ter, which is con­sid­ered the largest mu­seum in the world to be built in one stage. It is made of var­i­ous types of mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing the his­toric, sci­en­tific, Is­lamic mu­se­ums in ad­di­tion to a huge aquar­ium for marine life of all shapes, types and sizes. It also has a ca­pac­ity for thou­sands of vis­i­tors.

Th­ese types of large and dis­tin­guished cul­tural projects makes it nec­es­sary to use them to at­tract vis­i­tors from all parts of the re­gion and the world. This type of cul­tural work and arts has its lovers and fol­low­ers, in­clud­ing peo­ple who might look for­ward to come to Kuwait to en­joy it.

Let us de­cide the iden­tity of tourism in Kuwait as cul­tural tourism, by strength­en­ing all avail­able fields in this re­gard, which is some­thing that was not thought of so far. This of course re­quires get­ting ready to re­ceive thou­sands of vis­i­tors who come from all over the world by eas­ing pro­ce­dures of en­try and visit, pro­vide suit­able ho­tels, com­fort­able and enough trans­por t. And let our youth man­age this author­ity while seek­ing the help of for­eign and lo­cal ex­per­tise.

A beau­ti­ful fu­ture is wait­ing for this coun­try, as long as we re­main se­ri­ous to­wards this fu­ture, and how to trans­form dreams into re­al­ity, be­cause it is very easy, more than we think. We need a de­ci­sion and se­ri­ous­ness in ex­e­cu­tion, noth­ing more, noth­ing less.

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