Ambassador ESM; Saudi Arabia Has Many Tourism Objects

Talk With SMSI


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Esam. A. Abid Althagafi since serving in Indonesia in 2019, has traveled to various places in Indonesia such as Semarang, Yogyakarta, Bali, Kendari, Malang, and Bandung. He wants to travel to all interesting places in Indonesia but are blocked by the Covid19 pandemic, so it cannot be realized yet. This was stated by Esam in the online SMSI Lingkar Merdeka Discussion Forum on Thursday, 30/6 afternoon.

The discussion with Esam, which was guided by the Head of the SMSI Education Center, Dr Retno Intani ZA, MSc, run smoothly and received enthusiastic response from the participants, most of whom were SMSI administrators and members.

Esam’s interest in many interesting places in Indonesia is inseparable from his interest in human and cultural studies. His 40 years of experience as a diplomat in various countries makes him often meet with various kinds of people and cultures that attract his attention.
Then, since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia initiated the Vision 2030 program initiated by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Saudis have continued to open themselves up from various aspects including socio-cultural aspects, Esam has also promoted knowledge of various historical heritages of civilization in Saudi Arabia to help promote Saudi Arabia as a popular tourist destination for people from different backgrounds and cultures.

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The oil and gas industry which has been the backbone of Saudi Arabia’s economy has indeed shrunk and when Al Gazali, the discussion participants asked what other industries he wanted to create and why not educate Islamic boarding school children who are good at Arabic to be trained to become oil and gas technicians that can be optimized. to boost petroleum will certainly add value and quality. Esam replied that other industries were already being considered and the Saudis were currently building the ‘Giant Tourism Project’.

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Saudi Arabia is targeting to be able to create 1 million new jobs for Saudi citizens and invite 100 million foreign tourists.

To refer the explanation from the Head of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb at the launch of the Ad Diriyah project (Sept/2019) to Agence France-Press quoted by, there are at least five cultural heritage sites that have been recognized by UNESCO in Saudi Arabia that can be visited by the public, namely Madain Salih, an archaeological site that houses 111 tombs from the era of the Nabataean Empire, King Fahd Fountain, a fountain with a height of 312 meters, Jeddah Tower and Al Wahbah Crater, a crater in the middle of which there is white salt and filled with grass and palms as well as stone carving attractions. Jubbah is the most famous stone carving place in Saudi Arabia.

Firdaus – President of SMSI

Saudi Arabia, which has only focused on religious tourism and business, has now opened up to non-religious tourism, but Saudi Arabia, the owner of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, will certainly not allow non-religious tourism to destroy the traces of spiritual civilization inherent in Saudi Arabia.

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Encouraging the openness that has been rolled out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to mark 40 years of career as a diplomat, Esam. A.Abid Althagafi wrote a book entitled “Ambassador Between Two Poles” which has been released and can be read by the public.
The discussion began with an introduction from the General Chairperson of SMSI, Firdaus who introduced SMSI to the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Indonesia and offered SMSI various collaborations with media companies in Saudi Arabia, while at the end of the meeting, Ambassador Esam A.Abid Althagafi most welcome and invite those who wish to participate in any cooperation with Saudi Arabia not to hesitate to contact him. (RI)


written by : Retno Intani