The massive development of the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia as part of the USD 1 trillion investments being made under Vision 2030 plan, all aspects of tourism are being promoted – ranging from hotels, roads, ports, airports as well as shopping complexes and entertainment sites.
The country has also set its sight on golf tourism, which has become an important niche in the global industry. Not only is the country busy setting up new golf courses, but it has also set up a dedicated structure, Golf Saudi, to take this ahead. Saudi Arabia has now named a former golfer Noah Alireza as new CEO of Golf Saudi. He succeeds Majed AlSorour in the role.
According to a press statement, Alireza is a former member of the Saudi Arabian national team who has represented his country at the Asian Games. The statement adds that Alireza brings a wealth of experience in strategic advisory serving some of Saudi Arabia’s most influential entities within the public and private sectors, is a lifelong student of the game of golf and a graduate of Brown University.
Alireza’s remit will be to activate and accelerate Golf Saudi’s mandate in creating and serving new demand for golf in Saudi Arabia, through mass participation programmes and increasing access to the sport in the country.
The statement adds that AlSorour, whose four years at the helm saw unprecedented progress in Saudi Arabia’s golfing landscape, will remain as Board Member of Golf Saudi, Board Member and Deputy Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Secretary of the Arab Golf Federation.
Since its formation in 2018, Golf Saudi has created opportunities for more people to experience the benefits of golf. In the last year alone, over 50,000 individuals have been introduced to golf through a wide variety of activities.
The statement adds that Golf Saudi has placed equal emphasis on the development of a sustainable ecosystem for the sport, creating the world’s first National Sustainability Strategy for golf, centred upon environmental, social and economic impacts. This has included alignment with the United Nations’ Sport for Climate Action Framework and the creation of higher education programmes in collaboration with the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and the National Training Center for Facilities and Hospitality Management (FHM Academy).
“I am honoured to start this role and be part of the future of the Golf ecosystem in Saudi. Golf Saudi is set to deliver significant initiatives and programmes aligned with the objectives of Vision 2030 to improve quality of life and sports mass participation; my goal is to ensure that the acceleration and activation of these creates a highly significant impact on the nation. The task at hand is to further enhance the country’s masterplan for golf and, in hand with private and public sector bodies, create an unparalleled ecosystem which derives incredible value for the people of Saudi Arabia and visitors from around the world,’’ says Alireza.
“I appreciate the trust of Golf Saudi’s Board for giving me this opportunity, and I would like to thank my predecessor, Majed AlSorour, for his role during the foundational phase of the organisation,” he adds.
The appointment is timely as Saudi Arabia prepares to host four international events in 2023, starting with the PIF Saudi International, later this week.