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The inclusion of the Saudi Rijal Alma village on the list of the best tourist villages in the world (video)

The Saudi newspaper, Sabq, reported that the United Nations World Tourism Organization included the Saudi village of Rijal Almaa on the list of the best tourist villages in the world.

The newspaper said that this took place during an official ceremony on the sidelines of the organization’s general meeting in Madrid, Spain.

She stated that the initiative of the best tourist villages, which was announced during the Summit to Revitalize Tourism in Riyadh last May, aims to shed light on outstanding examples of rural tourism that combine natural and cultural elements, and preserve societal values, ways of life and traditional production mechanisms.

The Best Tourist Villages initiative is based on the AlUla framework for comprehensive community development through tourism, which was launched during Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 last year.

This achievement underscores the importance of committing to sustainability and using tourism as a force for positive change in societies, as the World Tourism Organization selected Rijal Almaa among 175 participating entities representing 75 countries.

The village of Rijal Almaa is 45 km west of the city of Abha in the mountainous Asir region, and is a unique example of the kingdom’s diverse heritage and culture.

It consists of 60 multi-storey palaces, built of natural mud stone and wood, and occupies an important position in the heart of the historical trade networks linking Yemen, the Levant, Mecca and Medina.

The newspaper reported that Princess Haifa bint Mohammed, Assistant Minister of Tourism, received the award in Madrid on behalf of the village chief.

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Princess Haifa said: “We are proud of this wonderful honor that Rijal Alma’ received, due to its cultural heritage, its unique culture, and its preservation of its distinguished history.”

The UNESCO has included the village of Rijal Alma in the list of World Heritage Sites, and compared it to the French village of Mont Saint-Michel as an outstanding example of unique history and architecture that reflects the great importance of the village.

It is worth noting that in 2017, all 16 of the village’s forts were restored.

Source: “Sabq” Saudi newspaper