Key Saudi tourism project stalled 8 years

A project to turn an historic Saudi mountain into a tourism site has not been completed nearly eight years after it was awarded, prompting a decision by authorities to cancel the contract and re-tender the project, according to press reports.

Jabal Al Qara (mountain) project in the eastern Al Ahsa was awarded to the Saudi Al Ahsa Amusement and Tourism Co (Ahsana) eight years ago and the contract stipulated that the project must be completed within a year after official signing.

The Saudi Arabic language daily Al Watan said Al Ahsa’s municipal council has presented a report to the concerned authorities asking them to “quickly” withdraw the project from the present contractor because of the delay.

“The decision to make this recommendation came after a long delay by that company in fulfilling its promises, the last of which was when it affirmed that it would complete the project in the (lunar month) of Shawal (August)…but this did not happen again,” the paper said, quoting Nahedh Al Jabr, chairman of the municipal council.

Al Jabr said the contract involves construction and maintenance of tourism and amusement facilities in that mountain, nearly 15 km east of Al Hofuf town.

Al Jabr did not specify the reasons for the company’s delay in executing that project, which covers the construction of roads and car parks, an amusement centre for children, restaurants, lighting of roads and caves, and other facilities.

Al Watan said Al Ahsa’s municipal council also agreed to re-tender Jabal Al Qara project to a new Saudi company after the present contract is cancelled.

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