The Department of Tourist Sites Development at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has recently begun utilizing solar energy for illuminating a number of tourist sites that are under development in various parts of the Kingdom.
Eng. Usama Al Khalawi, Director General of Tourist Sites Development, in this respect said: âSolar power is both a lasting and renewable energy; it is inexhaustible and free from harmful emissions. Hence it is preferred substantially in remote areas for technical and economic considerations. This is the main reason for SCTA to use it partially in the rehabilitation project of Shafa Harat Aowairid Overlooking Area in Al Ula municipality, where 90 lighting units were mounted, and each unit includes a solar cell panel and a battery."
Al Khalawi said that this is the first phase in using this technology in SCTA's programs for rehabilitation of tourism sites, adding that this initiative will be applied at several other tourist sites, especially in the future rehabilitation projects.
Al Khalawi added: "This initiative comes in line with SCTA's efforts to adopt the latest technology in securing unique and distinguished services in tourist sites, taking into account the provision of eco-friendly, energy-saving sources at the sites."
It is worth mentioning that the Tourism Information and Research Center (MAS), the statistical arm of SCTA, in collaboration with the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, through the joint cooperation agreement, has selected a remote tourist site to design as a pilot project using solar power as a renewable source of energy in an effort to maintain environmental balance at tourist sites.