Saudi Arabia to offer scholarships in tourism and hospitality for Red Sea Project

The scheme is a luxury sustainable development initiative that encompasses an archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands

Saudi Arabia’s The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) will offer 120 scholarships to the country's youth in the fields of tourism and hospitality in order to provide job opportunities in the kingdom’s Red Sea Project, a mega tourism development, it has been announced.

TRSDC has partnered with the University of Prince Mugrin (UPM) in Madinah to offer the scholarship programme, which includes courses in business, hospitality, tourism and management “using Swiss hospitality standards that focus on transferring theory to practice and personal development in the hospitality and tourism industries,” according to TRSDC’s official website.

The five-year programme, which will begin in the 2019-2020 academic year, will award students with a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Hospitality Management, accredited by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL). The agreement was signed on September 5.

“These two institutions share our ambition to support the accelerated pace of development in the Kingdom through the creation of educational opportunities suited to the requirements of a rapidly expanding tourism sector,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.

“The initial response has been overwhelming, with more than 12,000 applications since the portal opened on September 1,” he added. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older, hold a high school diploma, and must be proficient in English.

For his part, the president of UPM, Dr Nabil Al Rajeh said the collaboration “aims to localise jobs by preparing national skills and empowering the graduates with the practical skills required by the company.”

TRSDC, which is the developer behind the Red Sea Project, seeks to provide job opportunities for graduates, either directly or with partners involved in the development or operation of the destination, the company’s website said.

The Red Sea Project is a luxury sustainable development tourism project that encompasses an archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands, as well as desert and mountain landscapes. It is expected to attract visitors all year round.

Tourism is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program, which aims to diversify the kingdom’s economy and reduce its reliance on oil revenue. The country plans to create attractions that are of the highest international standards, improve visa issuance procedures for visitors, and prepare and develop historical and heritage sites as part of its vision.