Saudi Arabia looks to its coastline to develop diving tourism

Saudi Arabia looks to its coastline to develop diving tourism

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Saudi Arabia has the longest coastline of any country along the Red Sea, and the kingdom’s nascent tourism industry is betting on the clear, blue waters, coral reefs and idyllic islands off its shoreline to lure visitors from around the world. Officials and tourism operators hope that diving will attract visitors wishing to explore its clear seas rich in wildlife. Divers swim with an array of colourful fish and marine life. This beautiful location is some 150 kilometers north of the bustling city of Jiddah, and 10 kilometers off the coastline. It’s easy to forget this is Saudi Arabia, a conservative Muslim country where the vast majority of women cover their hair and face with black veils, where women must wear long, loose robes in public and where women still can’t travel abroad without the permission of a male relative.