Tourisem accomodation talal al harigi

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Dammam tourists attraction is increasing rapidly, and inviting tourists from many regions for various purposes. Consequently, this increases the load on the accommodation facilities. However, the accommodation facilities are randomly distributed. For example, they are concentrated within the urban areas of the metropolitan, which is about 50 Km apart from the main attraction area.

This study aims to propose a suitable distribution plan for tourists accommodation in Dammam Metropolitan area. The planning proposals of the study were generated on the basis of the main attraction areas and the tourist’s preferences. For the accomplishment of the study goal and objectives the study investigated the existing accommodation facilities conditions. In addition, a socio economic survey was conducted to explore tourists’ preferences and characteristics.

The study generated three alternatives for the distribution of tourists’ accommodation. They are as follow:
First Alternative adopts the existing trend concept to minimize the implementation cost in which the concentration of tourists accommodation will remain within the urban areas.
Second Alternative, is based on the concept of multi node accommodation centers along the transportation network, which will provide maximum mobility for tourists.
Third Alternative focuses on reducing tourist commuting between the accommodation facilities and the attraction area, by locating the accommodation facilities within the metropolitan attraction. As a result a new Tourists City will be established within the main attraction area.

The result of alternative evaluation resulted in selecting the third alternative as the best. Therefore, the tourists accommodation is distributed according to the tourists preference. The implementation policy resulted in proposing Higher Authority for Tourism Affairs in Al-Dammam metropolitan. The authority will coordinate the city development and construction of the infrastructure. Also, the implementation policy proposed a consortium company to coordinate the construction and management of the new accommodation facilities.

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Tourisem accomodation talal al harigi

  1. 1. A PROJECT ACCEPTANCE This Project has been accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Date:_____________________________ Instructors: Dr. Mohammed H. Awad _____________________________ Prof. Akef M. Quazi. _____________________________
  2. 2. B KING FAISAL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING Project Examination Report We have carefully read the report entitled TOURISTS ACCOMMODATION PLANNING FOR DAMMAM METROPOLITAN Submitted by Talal Abdullah Al-Harigi in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master in Urban & Regional Planning. We have also carried out report discussion on. We recommend that this work be: □ Accepted □ Completed □ Rejected In support of this recommendation we present the following joining statement of evaluation. The work is of the standard required for a Master’s Project in Urban and Regional Planning. It is well structured and presented in a clear and logical manner. The objectives are clearly stated are based on a wide site survey and information collected form different agencies. The recommendations on ways to find solutions for TOURISTS ACCOMMODATION PLANNING FOR DAMMAM METROPOLITAN deserve the attention of all concerned government and private agencies. Project Examining Committee: Name: Signature: _________________________ _________________ _________________________ _________________ _________________________ _________________ _________________________ _________________
  3. 3. C ‫الرحيم‬ ‫الرحمن‬ ‫هللا‬ ‫بسم‬ ‫إهداء‬ ‫فيـها‬ ‫في‬ ‫كان‬ ً‫ا‬‫جرار‬ ‫إليه‬ ‫تهدي‬ ‫هدهـــدة‬ ‫البين‬ ‫يوم‬ ‫سليمان‬ ‫أتت‬ ‫هديـها‬ُ‫م‬ ‫قدر‬ ‫على‬ ‫الـهدايا‬ ‫هدى‬ُ‫ت‬ ‫قائــــلة‬ ‫الحال‬ ‫بلسان‬ ‫فأنشدت‬ ‫اإلنس‬ ‫إلى‬ ‫هدى‬ُ‫ي‬ ‫كان‬ ‫لو‬‫فيهـا‬ ‫ما‬ ‫و‬ ‫الدنـيا‬ ‫قيمتـك‬ ‫لــكان‬ ‫قيمته‬ ‫ان‬ ‫يسـتديد‬ ‫مـن‬ ‫كل‬ ‫ليرتديه‬ ‫السطور‬ ‫من‬ ‫النسيج‬ ‫هذا‬ ‫نسج‬ ‫تم‬ ‫طويل‬ ‫عناء‬ ‫بعد‬ ‫م‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ ، ‫العييـي‬ ‫الوالـد‬ ‫إلى‬ ‫المتواضعة‬ ‫السطور‬ ‫و‬ ‫الكلمات‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫فأهدي‬ ، ‫منه‬ ‫والعافية‬ ‫بالصحة‬ ‫هللا‬ ‫متعهم‬ ‫الحنون‬.‫ايـوتي‬ ‫إلـى‬ ‫العمـل‬ ‫هـذا‬ ‫أهدي‬ ‫كذلك‬ ‫عيا‬ ‫ا‬‫بيننا‬ ‫الود‬ ‫هللا‬ ‫أدام‬ ‫ء‬.‫هـبرها‬ ‫رمـرة‬ ‫العييـية‬ ‫زوجتـي‬ ‫أهدي‬ ‫أن‬ ‫أنسى‬ ‫وال‬ ‫المتواهل‬ ‫ودعمها‬. ‫وقـات‬ ‫ا‬ ‫أحلك‬ ‫في‬ ‫أزري‬ ‫من‬ ‫الشد‬ ‫و‬ ‫بمساعدتي‬ ‫قام‬ ‫من‬ ‫كل‬ ‫وإلى‬.ًً‫سـائ‬ ‫العمـل‬ ‫هـذا‬ ‫إتمام‬ ‫في‬ ‫وفقت‬ ‫قد‬ ‫أكون‬ ‫أن‬ ‫جل‬ ‫و‬ ‫عي‬ ‫المولى‬.‫لكـن‬ ‫و‬(‫لكل‬ ‫نقصان‬ ‫تم‬ ‫ما‬ ‫إذا‬ ‫شيء‬)‫وحده‬ ‫هلل‬ ‫الكمال‬ ‫و‬. ‫السًم‬ ‫و‬ ‫المهندس‬:‫الحريقي‬ ‫هللا‬ ‫عبد‬ ‫طًل‬ 61/61/99
  4. 4. D In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. Acknowledgement Thanks to Allah the lord of the world for helping me in conducting this project. I Would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Mohamed H Awad and Prof. Akef M Quazi who devoted their time and efforts in supporting and guiding my to the completion of this project. Special thanks to my instructors from the department of Urban and Regional Planning who taught me through my study in the post graduate program.
  5. 5. E Abstract Dammam tourists attraction is increasing rapidly, and inviting tourists from many regions for various purposes. Consequently, this increases the load on the accommodation facilities. However, the accommodation facilities are randomly distributed. For example, they are concentrated within the urban areas of the metropolitan, which is about 50 Km apart from the main attraction area. This study aims to propose a suitable distribution plan for tourists accommodation in Dammam Metropolitan area. The planning proposals of the study were generated on the basis of the main attraction areas and the tourist’s preferences. For the accomplishment of the study goal and objectives the study investigated the existing accommodation facilities conditions. In addition, a socio economic survey was conducted to explore tourists’ preferences and characteristics. The study generated three alternatives for the distribution of tourists’ accommodation. They are as follow: First Alternative adopts the existing trend concept to minimize the implementation cost in which the concentration of tourists accommodation will remain within the urban areas. Second Alternative, is based on the concept of multi node accommodation centers along the transportation network, which will provide maximum mobility for tourists. Third Alternative focuses on reducing tourist commuting between the accommodation facilities and the attraction area, by locating the accommodation facilities within the metropolitan attraction. As a result a new Tourists City will be established within the main attraction area. The result of alternative evaluation resulted in selecting the third alternative as the best. Therefore, the tourists accommodation is distributed according to the tourists preference. The implementation policy resulted in proposing
  6. 6. F Higher Authority for Tourism Affairs in Al-Dammam metropolitan. The authority will coordinate the city development and construction of the infrastructure. Also, the implementation policy proposed a consortium company to coordinate the construction and management of the new accommodation facilities.
  7. 7. G ‫الدراسة‬ ‫ملخص‬ ‫هاد‬ ‫الىاد‬ ‫طدب‬ ‫قا‬ ‫ىلدمن‬ ‫ددا‬ ‫هايممدا‬ ‫الاديال‬ ‫قباداا‬ ‫ازداد‬ ‫الدمما‬ ‫حاضرة‬ ‫جاذبية‬ ‫ازدياد‬ ‫مع‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫مااكن‬.‫مبابدع‬ ‫بد‬ ‫التااهم‬ ‫من‬ ‫نبها‬ ‫سا‬ ‫دا‬ ‫هشبائي‬ ‫و‬ ‫سريع‬ ‫بشكل‬ ‫بالظممبر‬ ‫ىلخذت‬ ‫اليت‬ ‫و‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫هلؤالء‬ ‫الرئياية‬ ‫اجلذب‬ ‫مناطق‬ ‫و‬ ‫الاائح‬ ‫سكن‬.‫مادا‬ ‫الادائح‬ ‫يقىع‬ ‫بذلك‬ ‫و‬‫هدن‬ ‫تقدل‬ ‫ال‬ ‫ة‬05 ‫التنقدل‬ ‫جممدم‬ ‫و‬ ‫الاائح‬ ‫وبت‬ ‫ضياع‬ ‫قا‬ ‫تؤدي‬ ‫اليت‬ ‫و‬ ‫اجلذب‬ ‫مناطق‬ ‫و‬ ‫الاياحي‬ ‫الاكن‬ ‫ب‬ ‫مرت‬ ‫كياب‬ . ‫الةدمة‬ ‫ضةمةم‬ ‫اللةحةضر‬ ‫اللةيا‬ ‫ةك‬ ‫ا‬ ‫لق‬ ‫مبةسةتة‬ ‫ةة‬ ‫ة‬ ‫خ‬ ‫لقدةد‬ ‫الدراسةة‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫تهدف‬. ‫هما‬ ‫ركيزت‬ ‫ها‬ ‫المراسة‬ ‫هذ‬ ‫التخىيىية‬ ‫احلابا‬ ‫اهتممت‬:‫اجلذب‬ ‫مناطق‬ ‫مبابع‬، ‫لاايال‬ ‫األولية‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫رغاات‬ ‫و‬.‫منىقدة‬ ‫الاديال‬ ‫ملاداكن‬ ‫الراهنة‬ ‫األوضاع‬ ‫حبث‬ ‫مت‬ ‫المراسة‬ ‫غايات‬ ‫و‬ ‫همف‬ ‫ولتحقيق‬ ‫المراسة‬.‫الايال‬ ‫رغاات‬ ‫و‬ ‫ىلطاط‬ ‫ة‬ ‫ملعر‬ ‫ابتصادي‬ ‫اجتماهي‬ ‫ماح‬ ‫همل‬ ‫مت‬ ‫كذلك‬ ‫و‬. ‫منىقد‬ ‫الادياحي‬ ‫الادكن‬ ‫لتخىدي‬ ‫ةىيىيدة‬ ‫بدمائل‬ ‫ةدة‬ ‫ة‬ ‫ابدرتال‬ ‫مت‬ ‫األسدمت‬ ‫تادك‬ ‫ها‬ ‫و‬‫ة‬ ‫كالتالي‬ ‫وهي‬ ،‫المراسة‬: ‫األول‬ ‫ل‬ ‫التد‬:‫احلضدرية‬ ‫املناطق‬ ‫ضمن‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫ملااكن‬ ‫احلالي‬ ‫الرتكيز‬ ‫االستمرار‬(‫الدمما‬–‫اخلد‬ –‫الظممران‬.) ‫ر‬ ‫ةة‬‫ة‬‫الا‬ ‫ل‬ ‫التةد‬:‫داكة‬‫د‬ ‫د‬‫د‬‫ها‬ ‫دياحي‬‫د‬‫الا‬ ‫دكن‬‫د‬‫الا‬ ‫دع‬‫د‬‫مباب‬ ‫دع‬‫د‬‫بتبزي‬ ‫املتعدمدة‬ ‫دز‬‫د‬‫املراك‬ ‫درة‬‫د‬‫ك‬ ‫د‬‫د‬‫ها‬ ‫دم‬‫د‬‫اهتم‬ ‫ها‬ ‫يااهم‬ ‫سبف‬ ‫الذي‬ ‫و‬ ‫الرئياية‬ ‫ت‬ ‫املباص‬‫منداطق‬ ‫و‬ ‫اجلدذب‬ ‫منداطق‬ ‫بد‬ ‫التنقدل‬ ‫مروندة‬ ‫زيدادة‬ ‫األخرمن‬ ‫املناطق‬ ‫و‬ ‫الاكن‬. ‫الاةلث‬ ‫ل‬ ‫التد‬:‫وضدع‬ ‫ا‬ ‫خد‬ ‫مدن‬ ‫األوليدة‬ ‫اجلدذب‬ ‫ىلمداكن‬ ‫و‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫سكن‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ة‬ ‫املاا‬ ‫تقايل‬ ‫ها‬ ‫ركز‬ ‫األولية‬ ‫اجلذب‬ ‫مناطق‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫مااكن‬(‫الشباطئ‬)‫منىقدة‬ ‫سدياحية‬ ‫مميندة‬ ‫دكل‬ ‫هاد‬ ‫وذلدك‬ ، ‫األولية‬ ‫اجلذب‬. ‫ومن‬‫خيدار‬ ‫ضدل‬ ‫كأ‬ ‫الثالث‬ ‫الاميل‬ ‫اختار‬ ‫مت‬ ‫اخليارات‬ ‫تقييم‬.‫ملاداكن‬ ‫االحتيداا‬ ‫تبزيدع‬ ‫مت‬ ‫هايدمت‬ ‫وبنداءا‬ ‫الايال‬ ‫رغاات‬ ‫مثل‬ ‫الذي‬ ‫االبتصادي‬ ‫االجتماهي‬ ‫املاح‬ ‫نتائج‬ ‫ها‬ ‫بناءا‬ ‫الايال‬.‫سياسدات‬ ‫وضدع‬ ‫مت‬ ‫كمدا‬ ‫تقدب‬ ‫سدبف‬ ‫واليت‬ ‫المما‬ ‫حلاضرة‬ ‫لاياحة‬ ‫هايا‬ ‫هيئمت‬ ‫قنشاء‬ ‫تتاابر‬ ‫واليت‬ ‫اخلىة‬ ‫تنفيذ‬‫املميندة‬ ‫بدددارة‬ ‫التحتية‬ ‫الانية‬ ‫وقنشاء‬ ‫اجلميمة‬.‫و‬ ‫بدنشداء‬ ‫تقدب‬ ‫ماداهمة‬ ‫دركة‬ ‫قنشداء‬ ‫التنفيذيدة‬ ‫الاياسة‬ ‫تقرتل‬ ‫وكذلك‬ ‫الاكنية‬ ‫اخلممات‬ ‫قدارة‬.
  8. 8. H Table of Contents PROJECT ACCEPTANCE .............................................................. A PROJECT EXAMINATION REPORT .............................................. B ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.................................................................. D ABSTRACT..................................................................................... E ‫اسة‬‫ر‬‫الد‬ ‫ملخص‬............................................................G TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................. H LIST OF TABLES............................................................................ K LIST OF CHARTS...........................................................................M LIST OF MAPS ...............................................................................O CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY..............................1 1.1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................2 1.2 DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM................................................................5 1.3 INITIAL DEFINITION OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES......................................5 1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY ...........................................................................5 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW ..............................................8 2.1 DEFINITION OF TOURISM AND TOURISTS .................................................9 2.2 TOURISM IN THE KINGDOM AND GCC COUNTRIES .................................10 2.3 TOURISTS ACCOMMODATION...............................................................15 CHAPTER III: ANALYSIS OF TOURISTS ACCOMMODATION ...20 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................21 3.1 ROLE OF DAMMAM METROPOLITAN IN TOURISM....................................22 3.2 MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF DAMMAM METROPOLITAN.................................24 3.3 TOURISTS ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE STUDY AREA ...............................30 CHAPTER IV: TOURISTS SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEY.............72
  9. 9. I 4.1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................73 4.2.1 THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND SURVEY METHODOLOGY ...........................73 4.3 TOURIST SOCIO ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS .....................................79 4.4 CHARACTER AND NATURE OF VISITORS................................................86 4.5 EXPENDITURE ....................................................................................90 4.6 TOURISTS PREFERENCE......................................................................96 CHAPTER V: POTENTIALS, CONSTRAINTS & FORECASTS ..102 5.1 SUMMARY OF EXISTING CONDITIONS..................................................103 5.1 POTENTIALS AND CONSTRAINTS ........................................................105 5.3 PLANNING PROBLEMS ......................................................................107 5.5 REDEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM:.......................................................109 5.6 REDEFINITION OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES.........................................109 5.7 PROJECTION OF TOURIST FUTURE REQUIREMENTS .............................110 CHAPTER VI PLANNING PROPOSAL .......................................114 6.1 GENERATION OF ALTERNATIVES ........................................................115 6.2 ALTERNATIVE I: EXISTING TREND ......................................................116 6.3 ALTERNATIVE II: NODULE AGGLOMERATION .......................................120 6.4 ALTERNATIVE III: NEW TOURISTS CITY...............................................124 6.5 ALTERNATIVES EVALUATION AND SELECTION .....................................128 6.6 NEW TOURISTS CITY PLAN ...............................................................129 CHAPTER VII IMPLEMENTATION POLICIES ............................132 7.1 ADMINISTRATION OF THE TOURISTS CITY ...........................................133 7.3 IMPLEMENTATION POLICIES...............................................................135 APPENDICES..............................................................................141 APPENDIX I SOCIO-ECONOMIC QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................142 APPENDIX II: WORLD TOURISM ASSOCIATION HOTELS STANDARDS ...........146 RESEARCHER BIO-DATA..........................................................153
  10. 10. J REFERENCES: ...........................................................................154
  11. 11. K List of Tables TABLE 3.1.1.1 POPULATION OF THE MAIN CITIES IN THE KINGDOM...............22 TABLE 3.3.1.1A HOTEL TYPES IN DAMMAM METROPOLITAN ........................30 TABLE 3.3.1.1B HOTELS BY TYPE IN THE STUDY AREA ................................31 TABLE 3.3.1.2 A. HOTELS IN THE KINGDOM 1406 - 1416 AH.......................33 TABLE 3.3.2.1B HOTELS IN THE KINGDOM 1406 - 1416 AH. .......................34 TABLE 3.3.1.2A HOTELS CAPACITY OF THE STUDY AREA BY LEVEL .............34 TABLE 3.3.1.2B HOTELS ROOM IN DAMMAM METROPOLITAN........................35 TABLE 3.3.1.3 A COST OF ROOM PER NIGHT, NOVEMBER 1998...................37 TABLE 3.3.1.3B COST OF HOTELS BY TYPE: .............................................38 TABLE 3.3.1.4A HOTELS OCCUPANCY 1415-1418 .....................................41 TABLE 3.3.1.4B HOTELS OCCUPANCY BY CLASS 1415 - 1418 AH. ..............42 TABLE 3.3.1.4C AVERAGE OCCUPANCY RATE ACCORDING TO CITY..............43 TABLE 3.3.1.5A TOURISTS NIGHT SPENT IN HOTELS IN THE STUDY AREA.....43 TABLE 3.3.1.5B TOURISTS NIGHTS IN THE STUDY AREA ..............................44 TABLE 3.3.1.5C TOURIST NIGHTS IN THE STUDY AREA BY HOTEL CLASS......45 TABLE 3.3.2.1 DISTRIBUTION OF FURNISHED APARTMENTS:........................46 TABLE 3.3.2.2 ESTIMATION OF NUMBER OF BEDS FOR THE FURNISHED APARTMENTS:..........................................................................................53 TABLE 3.3.2.3 FURNISHED APARTMENT COST VARIATION - FEBRUARY, 199854 TABLE 3.3.2.4 APARTMENT OCCUPANCY VARIATION ..................................55 TABLE 3.3.2.5 ESTIMATION OF THE OCCUPANCY OF THE FURNISHED APARTMENTS...........................................................................................56 TABLE 3.3.3.1 DISTRIBUTION OF RESORTS VILLAGES .................................57 TABLE 3.3.3.2 CAPACITY OF HOLIDAY VILLAGES........................................57 TABLE 3.3.3.3 OCCUPANCY OF AL-SHULA RESORT VILLAGE 1418-1419 H .58 TABLE: 3.3.5.2 SUMMARY OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION OCCUPANCY........69 TABLE 4.2.2.1 HOTELS INCLUDED IN THE SURVEY ......................................75 TABLE 4.2.2.2 FURNISHED APARTMENTS INCLUDED IN THE STUDY ................76 TABLE 4.3.3.1 TOURIST FAMILY SIZE ........................................................83 TABLE 4.6.5.1 SUMMARY OF TOURISTS PREFERENCE...............................101
  12. 12. L TABLE 5.1.1 SUMMARY OF EXISTING CONDITIONS ....................................104 TABLE 5.7.1.1 NUMBER OF BEDS OCCUPIED IN THE YEAR 1998..................110 TABLE 5.7.1.2 PROJECTION OF REQUIRED BEDS 1998-2030....................111 TABLE 5.7.2.1 LOCATION OF ACCOMMODATION .......................................112 TABLE 5.7.3.1 TYPES OF TOURISTS ACCOMMODATION ACCORDING TO TOURISTS PREFERENCE .........................................................................112 TABLE 5.7.4.1 CATEGORIES OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION ACCORDING TO AFFORDABILITY......................................................................................113 TABLE 5.7.5.1 UNIT SIZE OF ACCOMMODATION ACCORDING TO TOURISTS GROUP SIZE..........................................................................................113 TABLE 6.6.1 ACCOMMODATION REQUIREMENTS, COASTAL AREA ..............130 TABLE 7.6.2 ACCOMMODATION REQUIREMENTS, URBAN AREAS................131
  13. 13. M List of Charts CHART 1.1.1 THE RELATION BETWEEN TRAVELLING TIME AND NUMBER OF TOURISTS (TIME-DISTANCE SENSITIVITY) .....................................................3 CHART 3.3.1.3A COST VARIATION IN 5 STAR HOTELS, NOV. 1998................38 CHART 3.3.1.3B COST VARIATION IN 4 STAR HOTELS NOV. 98.....................39 CHART 3.3.1.3D COST VARIATION OF 2 STAR HOTELS.................................40 CHART 3.3.1.4 AVERAGE HOTELS OCCUPANCY ACCORDING TO HOTEL CLASS (1415-1418) ................................................................................42 CHART 3.3.2.4 APARTMENTS OCCUPANCY ................................................55 CHART 3.3.3.4B DAILY DISTRIBUTION OF UNITS OCCUPANCY.......................64 CHART 3.7.1.1 CONCENTRATION OF BEDS VS. LOCATIONS...........................67 CHART 4.3.1.1 VISITORS NATIONALITY.......................................................79 CHART 4.3.2.1 TOURISTS AGE..................................................................81 CHART 4.3.2.1 TOURISTS MARITAL STATUS ...............................................82 CHART 4.3.3.1 VISITORS FAMILY SIZE .......................................................82 CHART 4.3.6.1 VISITORS MONTHLY INCOME ...............................................85 4.4.1.1 ORIGIN OF TOURISTS ...................................................................86 CHART 4.4.2.1 DURATION OF STAYING......................................................87 CHART 4.4.3.1 FREQUENCY OF TOURISTS VISITS.......................................88 CHART 4.4.4.1 TOURISTS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION................................89 CHART 4.4.5.1 AREAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE VISIT TO THE STUDY AREA .....89 CHART 4.5.1.1 TOURISTS EXPENDITURE ON ACCOMMODATION PER DAY ......90 CHART 4.5.2.1 TOURISTS EXPENDITURE ON FOOD PER DAY.........................91 CHART 4.5.3.1 TOURISTS EXPENDITURE ON RECREATION ...........................92 CHART 4.5.4.1 EXPENDITURE ON SHOPPING ..............................................93 CHART 4.5.3.1 TOURISTS EXPENDITURE ON TRANSPORTATION ....................94 CHART 4.6.8.1 SUMMARY OF TOURISTS EXPENDITURE................................95 CHART 4.6.1.1 PREFERRED ACCOMMODATION TYPE...................................96 CHART 4.6.2 PREFERRED ACCOMMODATION LOCATION...............................97
  14. 14. N CHART 4.6.3.1 PREFERRED VISITING TIME.................................................98 CHART 4.6.4.1 VISITORS PRIMARY ATTRACTIONS .......................................99
  15. 15. O LIST OF MAPS MAP 1.4.1 LOCATION OF THE STUDY AREA ..................................................7 MAP 3.2.4.1 DAMMAM METROPOLITAN ATTRACTION AREA .........................27 MAP 3.3.1.1 HOTELS DISTRIBUTION ..........................................................32 MAP 3.4.1.1 FURNISHED APARTMENTS DISTRIBUTION IN AL-DAMMAM CITY..48 MAP 3.4.1.1 FURNISHED APARTMENTS DISTRIBUTION IN AL-KHUBAR CITY ..49 MAP 4.5. SEPARATION OF ACCOMMODATION FROM ATTRACTION ...............108 MAP 6.2.1 ALTERNATIVE I: EXISTING TREND.......................................118 MAP 6.3.1 ALTERNATIVE II: NODULE AGGLOMERATION....................122 MAP 6.4.1 ALTERNATIVE III: NEW TOURISTS CITY ..............................126
  16. 16. 1 CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
  17. 17. 2 1.1 Introduction Tourism plays a major role in the economic development of many countries. It is considered as one of the major sources of circulating revenues between regions and a magnet for foreign currency. In addition, tourism increase the demand for work force for which stimulates many countries to provide more job opportunities. Tourists accommodation and tourists attraction are correlated and depend on each other. Attraction provides the magnet for tourists enjoyment, whereas accommodation provides the support facilities for a pleasant stay. They both correlate negatively with length of travelling time and distance. Tourists are strict about the time they spent in commuting between the accommodation and attractions. Al-Kittani emphasizes that, the attractiveness of the recreational areas diminishes with the increase of distance from the accommodation location1 . The location of the accommodation must be suitable to serve the needs of the intended tourism market and satisfy a number of requirements.2 These requirements should consider certain key factors in the location of the accommodation facility. The factors determine the location of the accommodation facility are shown in chart (1.1.1). 1 Al-Kittani M, P 58, 1990 2 Lawson F, P 105, 1998
  18. 18. 3 Chart 1.1.1 The Relation between Travelling Time and Number of Tourists (Time-Distance Sensitivity)3 Most of the accommodation facilities are concentrated within the Cities of Al-Dammam and Al-Khubar, while main attraction are located along the coasts. The traveling time between accommodation and attraction about 30 minutes or more. This situation diminishes the attractiveness of the main attraction, which may result in reducing tourists visits to the attractions, and less duration of stay which means less revenues. In general the accommodation facilities in Al-Dammam metropolitan did not consider factors related to main attraction. The study will illustrate and show the concentration of tourists accommodation within the metropolitan residential and commercial areas. However, the high cost of accommodation available in the main attraction forced the tourists to stay in Al-Dammam and Al- Khubar city and commute to the attraction areas. 3 Al-Kittani M, P 59, 1990 2 3 4 5 6 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 80 160 240 320 400 Distance between Origin and Potential in Kilometers CostbyUS$ 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% %ofVISITORSFORMOrigin Cities Cost US $ % of the of tourists population
  19. 19. 4 Tourists attraction and accommodations are equally important. This is due to the fact that attractions provide the magnet that motivates tourist to travel. While, accommodation provides the comfort for the tourist to stay overnight in the area. Comfort tourist increases the willingness of the tourists to stay longer near the attraction and maximizes enjoyment of the visit. Furthermore, the extent of attractiveness of the area motivates tourists to stay longer, which increases the rate of occupancy of the accommodations. Availability of accommodation within or around the attraction strengthens the attractiveness of the area. This is explained by decrease of willingness of the tourists to visit the attraction as the distance from the tourists’ accommodation increases. For example, tourists have the tendency to stay in the nearest accommodation to their main attraction depending on the quality, cost and size of the accommodation. The importance of this study is that reflects the strong relation between the attraction and accommodation, and the influence of the improvement of accommodation facilities on the attractiveness of the area. Furthermore, the increasing demand of tourism on Dammam metropolitan is another factor to its importance.
  20. 20. 0 1.2 Definition of the Problem A planning problem appears in a form that accommodation facilities are not spatially associated with tourist attractions. Therefore, the study will focus on the spatial distribution of tourist accommodation in Dammam metropolitan area. 1.3 Initial Definition of Goals and Objectives The goal of this project is to propose a suitable distribution plan for tourists accommodation in Dammam Metropolitan area. 1.3.1 Objectives  To ensure better distribution of accommodation facilities to the main attraction potentials.  To study tourists socio-economic characteristics and accommodation preferences.  To generate tourists accommodation plan that fulfils tourists requirements, preferences and future demands. 1.4 Scope of the study The study area will be limited to Dammam metropolitan, which is composed of the three municipal areas of Al-Dammam, Al-Khubar and Al-Dhahran. The study will be limited to the spatial planning aspects of tourism accommodation in terms of; distribution, capacities and relationship with tourists attraction. The analysis of tourists socio-economic status will identify their characteristics, accommodation preferences and habits. The planning proposal will
  21. 21. 6 be guided by the analysis of the social, economic and administrative factors.
  22. 22. 7 Map 1.4.1 Location of the Study area
  23. 23. 8 CHAPTER II Literature Review
  24. 24. 9 2.1 Definition of Tourism and Tourists The United Nations summit about tourism in Rome 1963 defined “a tourist as a traveler staying temporarily for a period not less than 24 hours, far away from home for a period less than one consecutive year, for the purpose of leisure, recreation, spending vacation, treatment, religious, sport, family visits, business. Tourism is “the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes”4 . 2.1.1 Internal Tourism Tourism takes many forms depending on the place of origin and destination, time and the objective of the trip. Internal tourism constitutes an essential part of the economy of many countries. In the United States internal tourism represents 90% of American Tourism Market5 . For the Kingdom, internal tourism is a means to reduce the expediter outside the country. Also, internal tourism will help in circulating the money between the regions within the country. It has the benefit of diversifying the economic base of the regions and cities. Internal tourism educates citizens about the attractive areas of their country, and makes them proud of it. 4 World Tourism Organization Web Page, April 29, 1998 5 Archer, 1975 and 1978
  25. 25. 15 2.2 Tourism in the Kingdom and GCC Countries 2.2.1 Tourism in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia has a variety of tourist attractions compared to GCC Countries. Diversification of primary attraction is clearly significant over the approximate area of two million and quarter square meters. In1987 Al-Khudairy mentioned that, foreign tourism in the kingdom represents minor significance of the Middle East market6 . In fact, foreign tourists are not significant at all in Saudi Arabia excluding Hajj and Omra tourists. Al-Khudairy refers this fact to the following reasons7 : 1. Lack of clear strategies and plans regarding international tourists due to low significance and priorities being given by the government, such as, the restriction in issuing tourist VISA and permissions. 2. Lack of marketing for tourism within the kingdom. 3. Lack of proper accommodation and tourism facilities. 4. Lack of accessibility to tourists attraction areas. Retter refers the low significance of foreign tourists to the fact that the country is not open yet for international tourists8 . Makie wrote that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doesn’t want or need international tourists, and tourism should be kept for local residence and expatriates9 . This point of view has some reality, nevertheless, the country is open for GCC citizens and expatriates 6 Al-Khudairy A, P 12, 1987 7 Al-Khudairy A, P 14, 1987 8 Ritter, P, 25 , 1984 9 Makie, , 1984
  26. 26. 11 and many GCC residents spend their holidays in the Kingdom, but they do not constitute a significant number to support tourism activities. Meanwhile, tourism development is moving gradually becoming tangible in the national level. There are some governmental agencies that provide tourism facilities like municipalities. Yet, there are no dedicated centralized governmental tourism agencies that take care of developing and managing tourism on the national level. In addition, contribution of the private sector in tourism development is limited. The government had invested in the recreational and leisure facilities. The objective of which aims at satisfying the residence needs for recreation rather than attraction for tourists. Except for some development in Asir Region. Hunnicutt (1985) mentioned that: “ the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognized the importance of recreational facilities and leisure time activities for health, prosperity, education and lifestyle that they conduct. The government uses these facilities for solving modernization and urbanization problems, as well as, the different patterns of life in work, population and families attitudes 10 ”. Some studies have been conducted for tourism in a wide range for tourism potentials in the kingdom. Al-Amiri11 , talked about the utilization of landforms around the city of Al-Riyadh for natural site seeing and recreation. While, Abdullah12 , emphasized the needs for recreational facilities in Jeddah. He pointed out certain attraction sites which were developed afterward. 10 Hunnicutt, P 26, 1985 11 Al-Amiri, 1986 12 Abdullah, 1980
  27. 27. 12 Some consultants conducted studies in certain areas in the kingdom, such as, Al-Qassim Norconsult, 198413 , in which the report studied the existing recreational facilities and leisure facilities for residents and visitors, whether manmade or natural potentials. Another consultant, Finnplanco, 198514 studied AI-Baha region. They pointed out that tourism facilities are not available, and that more development should be undertaken. In the Eastern Province B.G. Consultants, 198515 , prepared a project study for developing Auqair on the eastern coast, the project was based on:  The efficient use and utilization of natural potentials.  The provision cultural facilities  Diversification of economic activities.  Promotion of private sector contribution.  Protection of natural environment. AlKhudhairy16 mentioned that tourists villages and resorts should be the first step toward comprehensive tourism development in the Kingdom regions. Al-Khudairy classified tourists in the Kingdom into 6 different classes. They are as follows: Saudis, Moslem expatriates, non-Moslem expatriates, Pilgrims, GCC residents and other non-Moslem tourists. The study area receives all 6 types of tourists. The study area receives more GCC residents and non-Moslem expatriates, than other areas in the Kingdom. 13 Al-Thaqafy S P. 65, 1996 14 Al-Thaqafy S, P. 54, 1996 15 Al-Thaqafy S, P. 74, 1996 16 Al-Khudairy A, 1987
  28. 28. 13 2.2.2 Tourism in GCC Countries Due to the high living standards, many GCC residents used to travel long distances to their destinations. The area is considered as an exporter of international tourism. Despite the fact that many of them face many problems like communication, reduction of currency purchasing power, and lack of security. They are highly welcomed in western countries as they spend a lot of money.17 However, the number of the GCC tourists in the western countries declined in the last years. This explains why many Gulf tourists turned back searching for tourism inside their countries. Ritter18 classified GCC area into three patterns of regional tourism according to their tourism potentials. The first region includes Kuwait, northern part of the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. This region is composed of desert flat areas. It has low potentials for tourism in aesthetic factors, the coastal side, and desert side. In fact Ritter did not recognize or appreciate the three months of spring seasons of this area, I which the region witnesses extensive tourism attractions for its desert areas. There are famous non- official areas used for camping in which Saudis used to spend weeks, such as Nuyrea, Safanya and Al-Srar. The second region, is different and separated. It is composed of Al-Bahrain, Salwa Bay and Qatif. The potentials of this region are: attractive coastal sides, sandy duns, natural oasis, bay and warm springs. Ritter overlooked other potentials in this region: like Qatif oasis, Dammam metropolitan coastal areas, and Al-Hasa historical sites, 17 Al-Thaqafy, S. 1996 P. 52 18 Ritter, 1980
  29. 29. 14 mountains, springs and oasis - which are located in the Kingdom, there are many historical, natural, cultural and aesthetic potentials that can make the area one of the main attraction areas. The third region covers UAE and northern Oman, Ritter considered this region as the main tourism attraction region in GCC. This region has natural attractions of mountains, desert coasts and many aesthetic sites. In conclusion, Ritter defined tourism potential regions in the GCC as: coastal areas, desert areas, coastal cliffs and oasis. In addition, the warm winter season makes the regions attract winter tourists. The facilities that are available within the regions contribute in strengthening their attractiveness, such as hotels, furnished apartments, coastal resorts, and sea activities. He assumed that there are many leisure and recreation activities in GCC, however, not enough to be considered as tourism activities. The local tourism tendency is clearly significant but is not organized19 . 19 Al-Thaqafy, S, P. 62-68, 1996
  30. 30. 10 2.3 Tourists Accommodation Accommodation provided for tourists falls into two main categories. First, these which are common to all types of hotels and furnished apartments, they are usually located within urban areas. Second, those which are identified with particular localities. They use the attraction of the site and surroundings for more specific pursuits in recreation or panoramic views, such as; the mountain, rural or seaside resorts. In terms of investment, accommodation represents the most expensive service in tourism development. A 10 % saving in the cost of hotel accommodation may be, for example, equal to the total investment needed for recreation, sport and cultural facilities20 . A detailed survey of accommodation requirements and trends is therefore, essential in the initial stages of accommodation planning. 2.3.1 Main Categories of Accommodation Types of accommodation and the range of services they offer should be continuously changing according to market needs. Tourists accommodation facilities may include the following categories: Hotels: provide accommodation, meals and refreshments, for irregular periods of time and do not necessarily need reservations. In practice, hotels may be under contract to accommodate specific groups (for example tour operators, airline crew). This type of accommodation is available in Dammam Metropolitan in different classes. 20 Lawson and Baud, P 24, 1977
  31. 31. 16 Motels: Are specifically located and planned to provide convenient accommodation21 . Meals, if provided, are generally operated on an independent basis. While motels have evolved to serve transient needs, many of the lodges and motor hotels located in resort areas provide extensive facilities, including self-catering for the holiday maker. Motels started to appear in the market in the last 5 years by SASCO (company operating petrol stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and accommodation along the main transportation highways). They are available along Dammam - Riyadh highway and Riyadh - Qassim Highway. Camping Sites: Caravan sites are equipped with sanitary services, drainage and site works and may include restaurants or cafeteria, vehicle service stations, shops, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and other features22 . There are no official sites in Saudi Arabia identified for camping. Camping is one of the public activities many Saudis used to do in winter and spring seasons. Campers use their resources in providing the infrastructure such as tents, portable electricity generators, water tanks and other amenities23 . Resorts villages: Are essentially multiple units of accommodation, individually grouped around catering and recreational facilities24 . The units provide self-catering as an alternative to inclusive meals, and are designed mainly for family or individual use. Some resort villages are built for social tourism, as commercial developments. 21 World Tourism Organization, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.world- tourism.org/faq/faq.htm, 24/4/98 6:09 p.m. 22 Lawson and Baud, P. 36, 1977 23 The researcher Observations 1998. 24 World Tourism Organization, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.world- tourism.org/faq/faq.htm, 24/4/98 6:09 p.m.
  32. 32. 17 They may be developed by phases. They are usually distinct from holiday resorts. Resorts villages usually provide around 500 to 1500 beds. This type of accommodation is available along the coastal line of the study area. Like Al-Shoulla Al-Nakhile tourists Village along the Halfmoon Bay in Dammam Metropolitan. Individual housing units in resort areas include villas, bungalows, chalets and houses. In each case the accommodation may be used as the main or second (holiday) home of the owner. These units are leased on short or long term basis to tourist agencies or managed as a condominium. This type of accommodation is not widely used in Saudi Arabia. However, Tourists Villages provide similar way of accommodation by selling some of their units and renting the units for the benefit of the owners if they want. Condominiums (Furnished Apartments) are groupings of flats which are individually owned but share common facilities (elevators, building engineering services, etc.) and communal areas (entrance, staircases, landings). Responsibilities for maintenance and security are also collective and these and other services - including leasing to vacationers - may be carried out by management associations or agencies25 . This type of accommodation emerged, as did the tourism market of Saudi Arabia in the last two decades. Furnished apartments has become one of the main competitive accommodations for the hotels in the Kingdom. It is available in the study area in different capacities, sizes and prices. 25 World Tourism Organization, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.world- tourism.org/faq/faq.htm, 24/4/98 6:09 p.m.
  33. 33. 18 2.3.2 Relation of Tourists Accommodation and Attraction Tourists accommodation and tourists attraction are correlated and dependent on one another. Attraction provides the magnet for tourists enjoyment and accommodation provides the support in facilities for tourists comfort. In tourism, there are three elements that affect tourist attraction and enjoyments. These elements are tourism attraction, tourism facilities and additional elements. First, Tourism attraction is defined as those element and/or amenities which are magnetic in nature, for tourists and tourism functions. Such elements can be natural (like general environment, landscape, coasts ... etc.) or man-made (settlements, folklore, monuments, culture). The primary existence of these elements is not for the purpose of tourism, however, they can be utilized to form certain tourism attraction26 . Second, tourism facilities are defined as those elements that are provided to assist and increase the potentiality of certain attraction element or site. Tourism facilities are man-made, and they can be an attraction by themselves or with other elements. They are always promoted for tourists who stay for more than one day, in which they have different functions of the usual facilities for city residence. They differ in scale, seasonal character, location, prices, timing and nature. Such facilities are tangible for tourists, interms of interaction and association. They have a spending nature and are associated with non-residence time spending. The 26 Dietvorst, Adri, , P 87-92 1993
  34. 34. 19 main element of which is accommodation, then recreation, shopping, sports and so forth27 . Finally, Additional elements are those which do not attract visitors to a specific location, but they are more or less necessary conditions for pleasant visit and thus for the function of tourism, like (accessibility, security, parking lots, information offices, guidebooks ... etc.) 28 . The next chapter will show the existing conditions of tourism in the study area, It will be divided into two main parts. The first will discuss the main attractions of Dammam Metropolitan, the second, will discuss the accommodation facilities in the study area. 27 Dietvorst, Adri, , P. 96-110, 1993 28 Dietvorst, Adri, P. 112-123, 1993
  35. 35. 25 CHAPTER III: Analysis of Tourists Accommodation
  36. 36. 21 Introduction This chapter discusses the existing conditions of the study area that are collected from primary and secondary resources. The purpose of the discussion is to analyze the existing conditions of tourist accommodation of the study area. The chapter is divided into 5 sections. Each section deals with one type of accommodation that has a direct impact on tourist’s accommodation. The first section discusses the role of the study area as a tourism attraction. In addition, it will point out the main potential of touristic attraction in the study area. The second section introduces the basic information about hotel accommodation in the study area. It indicates the distribution, capacity, occupancy and the cost of the hotels. The third section provides information about furnished apartments, in terms of location, capacity, occupancy and cost. The fourth section will discuss tourist villages in terms of the distribution, capacity, occupancy and cost variation. The last section will show some facts about camping as a type of tourist accommodation.
  37. 37. 22 3.1 Role of Dammam Metropolitan in Tourism 3.1.1 Introduction Dammam metropolitan is defined in the sixth development plan as a touristic attraction area, as well as, one of the areas that is recently opened to international tourists. Dammam metropolitan is not an old city. It is a new urban area established to support oil industry. However, in a very short period it has become one of the main cities in the kingdom. In addition, it has become one of the attraction areas to tourists from the kingdom and nearby countries. The following paragraphs illustrate some facts about the study area. After unification of the Kingdom and specially the discovery of the oil, some movement started between cites and regions. In particular, Dammam Metropolitan became an attraction city for employment and investments. The operation of oil production and export helped the area to prosper dramatically. The Metropolitan has become the third largest city in the Kingdom with a population size of more than 1.2 million. See table 3.1.1.1 Table 3.1.1.1 Population of the Main Cities in the Kingdom City Population, 199229 Estimated, 199930 Percentage Al-Riyadh 2,800,000 3,514,473 17% Jeddah 2,000,000 2,510,338 12% Al-Dammam 1,200,000 1,506,203 7% Makkah 966,000 1,212,493 6% Al-Madinah 600,000 753,101 4% Al-Hassa 458,000 574,867 3% Al-Taife 416,000 522,150 2% All the Kingdom 16,929,294 21,249,127 50% 29 The Annual census, 1993, The estimation of 1992 30 Estimated by the researcher based on 3.3% growth rate
  38. 38. 23 Dammam Metropolitan is the capital of the Eastern Province Region. It acts as the administrative center as well as the commercial and trade center. It is the gate for the kingdom on the Arabian Gulf. It plays the role of Frontier City to the Gulf Consult Countries. It is connected with them by the International Airport, Causeway and Highways. Visitors some time come the area for business with the governmental agencies. Other than that, many visitors come for the companies that are located in the metropolitan. The metropolitan area has a hot and humid summer, it reaches more than 40 degree centigrade in July, August and September. The cold weather commences in December and the coldest months are January and February. This variation in temperature provides a potential for different types of tourists31 . 31 Al-Masoud M, P52, 1991 DhahranStationTemperature 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Max Jan Min.Max Feb Min.Max Mar Min.Max Apr Min.Max May Min.Max Jun Min.Max Jul Min.Max Aug Min.Max Sept Min.Max Oct Min.Max Nov Min.Max Dec. Min.
  39. 39. 24 3.2 Main Attractions of Dammam Metropolitan There are many attractions for tourists within the study area, which will be discussed, in the next paragraphs. 3.2.1 Coastal Areas Halfmoon Bay is located on the south of Dammam City with an approximate distance of 40 Km. The coast is expanding on a length of almost 45 Km. The coast constitutes of shallow water with coastal sand. The inland area constitutes of sand dunes and Sabkhah. The area is served by Dhahran municipality, which provides limited type of amenity basically for picnicking areas, grading the sand, sun shelters with electricity, children play grounds, toilets and water tanks. Some development activities have been established along some areas of the coast, which can be classified into different types according to their ownership. Private developments, which are limited to the owners themselves only. Governmental agencies like ARAMCO, KFU, KFUPM and Naval Base use large portions of the beach. Other agencies are providing access to the beaches to the public by membership or fees like King Fahad Coastal City, which occupies an area of one hectare, other private developments, like Amusement Parks: such as Al-Hukair and prince Mohammed Amusement Park. Resorts Villages: like Gulf Village, Al-Nakhel Beach and Al-Shola Tourists Village.
  40. 40. 20 3.2.2 Urban Areas Dammam City is the administrative capital of the Eastern Province. The majority of the governmental agencies are located there, like the Emarah, the Amanah and all the agencies of Ministries. In addition, Dammam City is the largest market for whole sales and heavy equipment in the region. Commercial activities are available with very wide range of varieties, simply it represents a trade center for the region. It has many educational institutions and universities, like King Faisal University, General Administration Institute, and the Girls Colleges. Dammam City has a beautiful Cornishe along the gulf coast. It has many sport and recreational areas where many activities take place. Like modern toy towns, sport clubs, King Fahad Regional Park, amusement Parks, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls. Al-Khubar is located south to Al-Dammam. It is connected to Al- Dammam by three highways with lengths that vary between 13-17 Km. Al-Khubar is the second largest city in the metropolitan. It is a compact city with grid streets network. Al-Khubar has a different type of shipping facilities that vary between traditional market and modern shopping malls. Traditional markets are located in the center of the city like King Khalid street and Al-Swaket (Prince Bandare) Street. In addition, there is another traditional market in Al-Thuqbah. It has approximately 8 shopping malls, which vary between fairly large malls like Al- Rashid Mall and small like Al-Khubar Plaza. The general character of Al-Khubar is shopping facilities and recreational activities. Al-Dhahran lies between Al-Dammam and Al-Khubar. It consists of five areas Aramco; Al-Doha and Al-Danah; and King Fahad
  41. 41. 26 University and the old Dhahran international Airport. Aramco attracts many business visitors to the area and it is one of the main attractions for business visitors. Al-Dhahran International Airport is the third largest airport in the Kingdom. Al-Doha and Al-Danah are the newest residential areas. The three cities constitute the metropolitan which are very well equipped to attract tourists and visitors. 3.2.3 The Cornishe The Cornishe is a very large and important project, which transformed the seafront of there metropolitan to a recreational and an entertainment place. Dammam sector extends to 27 km in length and has a 60 meter wide asphalt road and sidewalks. Massive rocks and concrete blocks protect this route from coastal erosion. The sector extends form end of Dammam – Al-Khubar coastal road to east of Sayhat town. This route is landscaped and has many recreational areas. In addition, there is a small seaport for fishermen and boat owners32 . Al-Khubar Sector is about 13 km long and 60 meters wide. It is designed in the form of a 30 meters street placed about 30 meters from the sea to allow side walk and liner recreational areas along the shoreline. The area contains green surface, car parking lots, sitting areas, and picnic area and children playgrounds. 32 Farsi Maps, Eastern Province, Dammam- Al-Khubar – Al-Qatife, first edition p43
  42. 42. 27 Map 3.2.4.1 Dammam Metropolitan Attraction Area
  43. 43. 28 3.2.4 Infrastructure Elements The study area has different elements that assist its main attraction. It has different transportation modes with international connectivity. The government undertook many projects that improved the transportation system of the study area like King Fahad International Airport, the Railway Station and international Bus Station. The new King Fahad International airport is located at 36 km north west of Dammam City. The airport started its operation in the last week of November in 1999. It is expected to become the gate of the kingdom and a meeting point for the eastern and western passengers. The airport is designed to have a capacity of 5 million passengers per year, but only 3 million passengers will be served in the first operational stage. There will be two commercial passenger terminals, one for SAUDIA and the other for foreign airlines 33. The railway station was constructed in 1951. The railway is 571 km long between Dammam and Al-Riyadh. In 1985 a new line was completed to reduce the distance between the cities. The number of railway passengers increased from 105,380 in 1970 to 275,450 in 198034. The main Bus Station is located in Al-Dammam City and has a branch in Al-Khubar City. It is connected to the main cities in the Kingdom, as well as to international distention with GCC and some Arab countries like Jordan and Syria. 33 Al-Iktisad magazine, November/ December Issue number 321 34 Transport Magazine, Second issue, November 1998 p. 46
  44. 44. 29 Map 3.2.4.2 Dammam Metropolitan Transportation Network
  45. 45. 35 3.3 Tourists Accommodations in the Study Area The various attractions that have been discussed earlier invite tourists to travel to the study area, for recreation and business. Al- Dammam metropolitan offers various types of accommodation for its visitors such as hotels, furnished apartments and resort villages. The following paragraphs will analyze those different types of accommodation. 3.3.1 Hotel Accommodation In Dammam metropolitan area, there are 29 hotels. These hotels vary in type, location, cost and capacity, which affect the occupancy rate. 3.3.1.1 Hotel Types The Ministry of Commerce defines types of the hotels by ranking each hotel according to certain criteria. These criteria are mainly international standards, like World Tourism Organization Standard (see appendix 1). See table (3.3.1.1a). Table 3.3.1.1a Hotel Types in Dammam Metropolitan35 # Hotels Name Stars 1 Al-Gosaibi 5 2 Dammam Oberoi (Sheraton) 5 3 Dhahran International 5 4 Meridian Al-Khaleej 5 Total Four 5 STAR Hotels 5 Carlton Al-Moaibed 4A 6 Dhahran Palace Ramada 4A 7 Al-Hamra 4B 8 Al-Muntazza 4B 9 Al-Nimran 4B 10 Al-Uraifi 4B 35 Ministry of Commerce, Dammam Branch, 1998 unpublished statistics
  46. 46. 31 Total Six 4 STAR Hotels 11 Al-Badia 3A 12 Al-Bustan 3A 13 Al-Al-Al-Al-Al-Al-Dammam 3A 14 Al-Hamad 3A 15 Al-Iqpal 3A 16 Al-Khubar Palace 3A 17 Royal Al-Nasr 3A 18 Safari Al-Dana 3A 19 Al-Khayam 3B 20 Al-Qadsia 3B 21 Al-Salaam 3B 22 Safari Al-Khaleej 3B 23 Safari Al-Khobar 3B 24 Zahrt Al-Khaleej 3B Total Fourteen 3 STAR Hotels 25 Al-Fadhly 2A 26 Al-Harmain 2A 27 Al-Manara 2A 28 Al-Jabir 2B 29 Al-Thuqbah 2B Total Five 2 STAR Hotels The study area contains all the different types of hotels. They are distributed as follows: Al-Dammam city has 12 hotels, Al-Khubar city has 15 hotels and Al-Dhahran city has 2 hotels. While, The coastal side (Half Moon Bay and Al-Aziziah beach) of the study area does not have any hotels (see table 3.3.1.1b). Table 3.3.1.1b Hotels by type in the Study area36 Type 5 4 stars 3 stars 2 stars City Star A B A B A B Total Al-Dammam 1 1 2 2 3 2 1 12 Al-Khubar 2 - 2 6 3 1 1 15 Al-Dhahran 1 1 - - - - - 2 Total 4 2 4 8 6 3 2 29 * One 5 star hotel under construction in Al-Khubar . 36 Ministry of Commerce, Dammam December 1998
  47. 47. 32 Map 3.3.1.1 Hotel Distribution
  48. 48. 33 3.3.1.2 Hotel Capacity Either the number of beds or the number of rooms indicates the capacity of hotels. The data that the researcher could obtain indicated hotel capacity by number of rooms. An international ratio defined by Fred Lawson states, that “The ratio of beds: hotel rooms range is 1:93 , in developing tourist areas” 37 . He mentioned that in 1990, there were 1,131,200 rooms in hotels and similar establishment worldwide. The number of rooms increased by 30.4% in the past ten years from 198138 . In Saudi Arabia, there are 308 hotels with the capacity of 27,557 rooms (See table 3.3.1.2a). Eastern province is the third in hotels capacity in the Kingdom. Furthermore, The study area constitutes 11.25% of the hotels rooms in the Kingdom See table 3.3.1.2 a and b. Table 3.3.1.2 a. Hotels in the Kingdom 1406 - 1416 AH39 . Region Number of Hotels Number of Rooms Riyadh 57 6128 Makka 101 11374 Maddina 17 2214 Qassim 8 467 Eastern Province 51 4140 Asire 23 1212 Tabouk 13 476 Hail 2 130 Northern Province 10 296 Jizan 6 343 Najran 8 322 Baha 6 265 Jwf 6 190 Total 308 27,557 37 Fred Lawson, P 3, 1998 38 Fred Lawson P 4, 1998 39 Ministry of Planning, Statistical yearbook thirty second Issue, 1996 Al-Riyadh.
  49. 49. 34 Table 3.3.1.2b Hotels in the Kingdom 1406 - 1416 AH40 . Class 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars Year No. Rooms No. Rooms No. Rooms No. Rooms Total 1406 15 3807 44 7622 102 7689 84 3011 22129 1408 19 4809 49 7897 99 7183 81 2727 22616 1410 20 4933 51 7994 108 7325 83 2567 22819 1412 20 4882 56 8354 111 6992 81 2574 22802 1414 22 5646 56 8621 121 7969 81 2640 25013 1416 26 7118 65 9388 130 8328 80 2586 27557 The increase of hotel rooms in the Kingdom is almost 20% over ten years (1406 - 1416 AH). This shows that Saudi hotel growth is less than the International by 10%. The growth rate of hotel rooms is 22.2%. The study area contains 3101 rooms with average beds of 3334. Rooms are distributed in Dammam (1576 ), Al-Khubar (1576 ) and Al-Dhahran ( 376 ). (See table 3.3.1.2c) Table 3.3.1.2c Hotels Capacity of the Study Area by level # Hotels Name Star Capacity / Room 1 Al-Gosaibi 5 340 2 Meridian Al-Khaleej 5 327 3 Dammam Oberoi 5 277 4 Dhahran International 5 191 5 Carlton Al-Moaibed 4A 211 6 Dhahran Palace Ramada 4A 185 7 AL-Muntazah 4B 200 8 Al-Hamra 4B 120 9 Al-Uraifi 4B 80 10 Al-Nimran 4B 80 11 Al-Al-Dammam 3A 126 12 Royal Al-Nasar 3A 98 13 Al-Hamad 3A 96 14 Safari Al-Khaleej 3A 86 15 Al-Badia 3A 83 16 Safari Al-Dana 3A 63 17 Al-Bustan 3A 56 18 Al-Iqpal 3A 48 19 Al-Khubar Palace 3A 43 20 Al-Qadsia 3B 80 21 Zahrat Al-Khaleej 3B 60 40 Ministry of Planning, 1996 Al-Riyadh
  50. 50. 30 22 Safari Al-Khubar 3B 45 23 Al-Salaam 3B 36 24 Al-Khayam 3B 36 25 Al-Harmain 2A 38 26 Al-Manara 2A 28 27 Al-Fudhaly 2A 13 28 Al-Jabber 2B 24 29 Al-Thuqbah 2B 21 TOTAL The table below indicates that the carrying capacity of the study area’s hotels is 3334 beds per day (see table 3.3.1.2d). Table 3.3.1.2d Hotels room in Dammam metropolitan City Number of rooms Number of beds Percentage Al-Dammam 1149 1235 37 Al-Khubar 1576 1695 51 Al-Dhahran 376 404 12 Total 3101 3334 100 Capacity of hotels is higher in the high category hotels than in the lower category hotels. As five star hotels are larger than the next level and so forth. The chart below indicates that the highest bed capacity in the study area is in the 5 star hotels. The next are three star hotels, then 4 star hotels Chart 3.3.1.2 Hotel Capacity in the study area
  51. 51. 36 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 BedRoom 5 stars 4 stars 3 stars 2 stars Hotels Category Hotels Capacity Number of rooms Number of beds
  52. 52. 37 3.3.1.3 Hotel Cost Variation: The cost of Double bed room varies among hotels in the study area. Dammam Oberoi (Now Sheraton) and Gulf Meridian are the most expensive hotels. However, two star hotels are the cheapest, for example Al-Manara and Al-Thuqbah hotel, as (50 – 55) SR is the cost of double bed room, see table (3.3.1.3 a). Table 3.3.1.3 a Cost of Room per Night, November 1998 # Hotels Name Type Cost Single Bed Room Double Bed Room 1 Al-Gosaibi 5 245 325 2 Dammam Oberoi 5 517 661 3 Meridian Al-Khaleej 5 575 650 4 Dhahran Int’l 5 598 460 Average 5 Stars Hotels 484 524 1 Dh. Palace Ramada 4A 225 175 2 Carlton Al-Moaibed 4A 400 518 3 Al-Araifi 4B 241 184 4 Al-Hambra 4B 287 373 5 Al-Muntazza 4B 287 402.5 6 Al-Nimran 4B 287 402.5 Average 4 Stars hotels 288 343 1 Al-Khubar Palace 3A 180 120 2 Al-Iqpal 3A 90 140 3 Safari Al-Dana 3A 80 140 4 Al-Bustan 3A 140 180 5 Royal Al-Nasr 3A 110 180 6 Al-Al-Al-Dammam 3A 155 210 7 Al-Badia 3A 160 260 8 Al-Khayam 3B 95 115 9 Safari Al-Khubar 3B 80 120 10 Al-Qadsia 3B 100 120 11 Al-Salaam 3B 100 120 12 Zahrt Al-Khaleej 3B 100 120 13 Al-Qadsia 3B 100 120 14 Al-Salaam 3B 100 120 Average 3 Stars Hotels 114 148 1 Al-Fadhly 2A 60 85 2 Al-Manara 2A 55 80 3 Al-Harmain 2A 60 85 4 Al-Thuqbah 2B 50 60 5 Al-Jabber 2B 100 83 Average 2 Stars Hotels 85 79
  53. 53. 38 As in any area, 5 star hotels in Dammam Metropolitan are the most expensive, and the cost drops as we go towards lower star hotel, (see table 3.3.1.3b). Table 3.3.1.3b Cost of Hotels by Type: Hotel level Double bed room SR. Single bed room SR. 5 Stars 524 484 4 Stars 343 288 3 Stars 343 114 2 stars 148 65 The following chart indicates that cost of hotel accommodation depends on two main variables. First, the type of quality they provide. Second, is the location of the hotel. For example Meridian Al-Khaleej is located in Al-Khubar and adjacent to the Cornish with very high quality, however, Al-Gosaibi which is not fare is cheaper by 20%. Moreover, Dammam Oberoi (Newly Sheraton) is cheaper than the Meridian although it provides the same quality service. That indicates the influence of the location on the cost (see chart 3.3.1.3a). Chart 3.3.1.3a Cost Variation in 5 Star Hotels, Nov. 1998 The following chart indicates that 4 star hotels vary in the cost depending on location. Hotels in Al-Khubar are more expensive 672 747 598598 250 350 450 550 650 750 Al-Gosaibi KH Meridian Al-Khaleej KH Dammam Oberoi DA Dhahran International DH SRPerDubleBedRoom
  54. 54. 39 than those in Al-Dammam. In addition, the quality of the hotels has a great impact, which reflects the cost on the Carlton, as well as its location in the middle along Al-Khubar- Al-Dammam Highway. Dhahran Palace suffers because of its location within Al-Dhahran without any attraction potentials (see chart 3.3.1.3b). Chart 3.3.1.3b Cost Variation in 4 Star Hotels Nov. 98 Location does not have much impact in the 3 star hotels like 5 and 4 star. Their cost is divided into 2 categories. First category ranges between 115 and 140 and the second ranges between 180 and 210 SR. The first category is ranked as quality “B” and located within the city center, the second category is the “A” quality and is located on the edges of the city center along major streets. Chart 3.3.6.3c Cost Variation of 3 Star Hotels 85 60 83 80 85 50 60 70 80 90 Al-Thuqba Al-Fadhly Al-Harmain Al-Jabir Al-Manara SRPerDoubleBedRoom 184 175 518 403 403 373 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 4 0 0 5 0 0 Dh. Palac e DH Al -Uraifi DA Al -Hamra DA Carlton DA Al -Muntaz a KH Al -Nimran KH SRPerDoubleBedRoom
  55. 55. 45 Location does not have an impact in the 2 star hotels like others. They are located within centers of Al-Dammam, Al-Khubar and Al- Thuqbah, within the secondary streets of the center (see chart 3.3.1.3d). Chart 3.3.1.3d Cost Variation of 2 Star Hotels. 140 120120120 180 180 120 115 120 140 200 210 100 125 150 175 200 225 Al- Bust an Raoyal Al- Nasr Al- I qbal Kh Palace Saf ar i Kh. Al- Q adsia Al- Salam K Al- Khayam Za. Al- Khaleej Al- Dana Al- Dam m am Al- Badia SRPerDoubleBedRoom DAMMAMAL-KHUBAR
  56. 56. 41 3.3.1.4 Hotel Occupancy Hotel occupancy indicates the utilization of the hotel rooms over a year. It can be calculated according to the following formula [ Number of utilized rooms per year / (Hotel Capacity X 365) X100. The following figures indicate the occupancy rate of the metropolitan hotels for the period from 1415-1418 H, according to the Ministry of Commerce Dammam Branch (See Table 3.3.1.4a). Table 3.3.1.4a Hotels Occupancy 1415-141841 Hotels Name Type OCCUPANCY % 1415 1416 1417 1418 1 Al-Gosaibi 5 29 35 31 38 2 Meridian Al-Khaleej 5 73 72 70 73 3 Dammam Oberoi 5 50 41 40 49 4 Dhahran Int’l 5 80 55 60 72 5 Carlton Al-Moaibed 4A 34 25 32 39 6 Dh Palace Ramada 4A 11 15 12 21 7 Al-Nimran 4B 48 38 46 57 8 Al-Muntazza 4B 36 28 39 49 9 Al-Araifi 4B 25 34 20 20 10 Al-Hambra 4B 57 37 41 49 11 Al-Badia 3A 52 56 36 63 12 Al-Khubar Palace 3A 48 61 46 87 13 Al-Iqpal 3A 45 44 37 41 14 Royal Al-Nasar 3A 23 19 16 22 15 Al-Hamad 3A 48 33 33 38 16 Al-Bustan 3A 32 38 38 51 17 Al-Al-Al-Dammam 3A 57 30 32 31 18 Safari Al-Dana 3A 77 34 33 40 19 Al-Salaam 3B 53 26 24 30 20 Al-Qadsia 3B 34 29 25 35 21 Safari Al-Khubar 3B 23 28 35 49 22 Safari Al-Khaleej 3B 20 25 29 31 23 Al-Khayam 3B 58 51 44 35 24 Zahrt Al-Khaleej 3B 23 24 30 41 25 Al-Fadhly 2A 10 2 5 9 26 Al-Harmain 2A 45 25 40 39 27 Al-Manara 2A 77 60 46 61 28 Al-Thuqbah 2B 90 62 69 62 29 Al-Jabber 2B 82 83 74 80 AVERAGE 46 38 37 45 41 Ministry of Commerce, Dammam Department, 1998
  57. 57. 42 The average hotel occupancy rate for hotels of the study area varies between 45% and 39% from 1415 – 1418, the average occupancy dropped by 6% (See table 3.3.1.4b). Table 3.3.1.4b Hotels occupancy by class 1415 - 1418 AH. Hotels Class 1415 1416 1417 1418 Average 5 Stars 55% 50% 49% 56% 52.5% 4 Stars 33% 27% 31% 39% 32.5% 3 Stars 42% 34% 31% 40% 36.75% 2 Stars 63% 48% 49% 53% 53.25% Average 45% 34% 39% 47% 42.5% In 1415 and 1418 hotels showed the highest occupancy. The average occupancy of the four consecutive years is 42.5%. 5 star hotels and 2 star hotels registered the highest occupancy rate by 52.5% and 53.25% respectively. While, 3 star and 4 star hotels were less than the average. In 1418, hotel occupancy registered an increase of 8% in 4 star hotels and 9% in 3 star hotels (See chart 3.3.1.4). Chart 3.3.1.4 Average Hotel Occupancy According to Hotel Class (1415-1418) As the occupancy rate of hotels varies according to class, it also varies according to the location (See table 3.3.1.4c). Al-Khubar has the highest average occupancy rate 44.25%, then Al-Dhahran 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% Occupancy Rate 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars
  58. 58. 43 41.25% and the lowest is Al-Dammam by 39.25%. Al-Khubar has the highest occupancy rate due to its larger capacity than Al- Dammam and Al-Dhahran. That indicates the potentiality of Al- Khubar to attract more tourists. On the other hand, despite the fact that, Al-Dhahran has higher occupancy than Al-Dammam, it has much less tourist than Al-Dammam (See Chart 3.3.1.4c). Table 3.3.1.4c Average Occupancy rate according to City City 1415 1416 1417 1418 Average Al-Al-Dammam 46% 35% 35% 41% 39.25% Al-Khubar 44% 42% 41% 50% 44.25% Al-Dhahran 46% 35% 37% 47% 41.25% Total 45% 39% 39% 46% 42.25% 3.3.1.5 Tourist Nights Tourist nights mean the number of nights a tourists spends in a hotel. For example if a certain tourist family spent 10 nights in a hotel and have been accommodated in two rooms, they will be accounted for having spent 20 tourist nights. Saudis spend 30,000,000 tourists nights per year outside the Kingdom42 See table (3.3.1.5a). Table 3.3.1.5a Tourists Night Spent in Hotels in the Study Area Hotels Name Class Tourist Nights 1415 Tourist Nights 1416 Tourist Nights 1417 Tourist Nights 1418 1 Al-Gosaibi 5 35,704 43,770 38,161 47,046 2 Meridian Al-Khaleej 5 87,451 85,613 83,823 87,344 3 Dammam Oberoi 5 50,492 41,261 40,159 49,117 4 Dhahran International 5 56,093 38,246 42,045 50,251 5 Carlton Al-Moaibed 4A 26,085 19,023 24,383 30,382 6 Dh Palace Ramada 4A 7,603 9,859 8,218 14,342 7 Al-Nimran 4B 15,696 12,407 14,953 18,836 8 Al-Muntazza 4B 25,915 20,601 28,769 36,120 9 Al-Araifi 4B 7,385 9,881 5,802 5,907 10 Al-Hambra 4B 24,953 16,259 18,138 21,304 42 Al-Ektsad, Issue No. 303; June, 1998, p. 32 44% 45% e HotelsOccupancyAccordingtoLocation
  59. 59. 44 11 Al-Badia 3A 15,629 16,865 10,943 19,080 12 Al-Khubar Palace 3A 7,571 9,558 7,268 13,606 13 Al-Iqpal 3A 7,812 7,737 6,509 7,178 14 Royal Al-Nasr 3A 8,116 6,786 5,662 7,759 15 Al-Hamad 3A 16,781 11,717 11,437 13,312 16 Al-Bustan 3A 6,559 7,822 7,665 10,471 17 Al-Al-Al-Al-Al-Dammam 3A 26,242 13,825 14,643 14,459 18 Safari Al-Dana 3A 17,600 7,903 7,549 9,269 19 Al-Salaam 3B 7,022 3,477 3,127 3,942 20 Al-Qadsia 3B 10,065 8,322 7,268 10,124 21 Safari Al-Khubar 3B 3,735 4,556 5,754 8,078 22 Safari Al-Khaleej 3B 6,130 7,775 9,169 9,759 23 Al-Khayam 3B 7,633 6,672 5,774 4,553 24 Zahrt Al-Khaleej 3B 5,079 5,306 6,563 8,880 25 Al-Fadhly 2A 477 95 248 442 26 Al-Harmain 2A 6,260 3,497 5,513 5,448 27 Al-Manara 2A 7,902 6,180 4,658 6,247 28 Al-Thuqba 2B 6,899 4,730 5,289 4,771 29 Al-Jabir 2B 7,141 7,301 6,511 6,985 TOTAL 512,030 437,144 436,001 525,012 AVERAGE 17656 15074 15035 18104 The study area reached a half million tourists nights in 1415 and 1418. The average tourists nights in the study area are 477,522 per year. The full capacity of Dammam metropolitan is 1,131,865 tourist nights per year. That means around half of the capacity has been accomplished. Table 3.3.1.5b Tourists Nights in the Study area City 1415 1416 1417 1418 Average Al-Khubar 255,433 244,057 236,876 288,108 256,118 Al-Al-Dammam 192,902 144,884 148,863 172,311 164,740 Al-Dhahran 63,696 48,104 50,263 64,593 56,664 Total 512,030 437,045 436,002 525,012 477,522 Al-Khubar had the highest tourists nights. It exceeded 54% of the total tourists nights in the study area. Saudis spend 9 tourists nights out side the Kingdom43 . The average visitors of the hotels is almost 53.05% tourists during the period of (1415 - 1418 AH). 43 Al-Ektsad, Issue No. 303; June, 1998, p. 32
  60. 60. 40 Growth in tourist nights in the study area increased by 0.63% from 1415 - 1418 AH. One of the factors affecting the trend of tourist nights and keeping it almost steady, might be the increase of furnished apartments. As the number of tourists increases, the number of furnished apartment increases which absorbs the increase of the tourists demand on accommodation in the study area see table (3.3.1.5c). Table 3.3.1.5c Tourist Nights in the Study Area by Hotel Class Hotel Class 1415 1416 1417 1418 Average 5 Stars 229,740 208,890 204,188 233,758 219,144 4 Stars 107,637 88,029 100,263 126,893 105,706 3 Stars 145,975 118,323 109,332 140,470 128,525 2 Stars 21,679 21,803 22,220 23,892 22,398 Total 505,031 437,045 436,003 525,013 475,773
  61. 61. 46 3.3.2 Furnished Apartments 3.3.2.1 Furnished apartments type and distribution: There are 130 furnished apartments in the study area. They are concentrated on Al-Dammam and Al-Khubar. Almost 49% of them located in Al-Dammam and 51% located in Al-Khubar respectively see table (3.3.2.1). Table 3.3.2.1 Distribution of Furnished Apartments44 : City Number of apartments % Al-Dammam 64 49 Al-Khubar 66 51 Total 130 100 Furnished apartments are located within the cities in any area that has multi-story buildings. They do not follow a consistent trend as most of them were built to be regular residential apartments. Generally, they tend to be located near the Cornishe, urban center, along main streets, CBD periphery areas or secondary centers. Moreover, the apartments main concentration is on the CBD and Cornishe or Dammam and Al-Khubar, and major concentration on the secondary center of Al-Khubar, which is Al-Thuqbah. Through the researcher inquiries about these apartments from Municipalities and Ministry of Commerce branch in Dammam, they declared that they have a limited obligation and authority on these apartments. Every one claims that it falls within the jurisdiction of the other. This situation shows that there are no regulations or rules to monitor or control the quality and conduct of such businesses. 44 Ministry of Commerce, Dammam Department, September 1998
  62. 62. 47 There are no classifications or types for the furnished apartments. Some of the apartments show high standard of amenity and service like Park Plaza in Al-Khubar and Janadriah Suites. They do not have a definite name as some call them suites, apartments, rooms or guest-houses. During the time of the study a Ministerial Decision, number 969, dated in 27/7/1419 H, announced the organizational laws and regulations for the furnished apartments.
  63. 63. 48 Map 3.4.1.1 Furnished Apartments Distribution in Al-Dammam City
  64. 64. 49 Map 3.4.1.1 Furnished Apartments Distribution in Al-Khubar City
  65. 65. 05 3.3.2.2 New Furnished Apartments Regulation The regulations were published on the local newspapers from the Ministry of Commerce. The following is the translations done by the researcher for the Arabic text45 .  This law is for any furnished residential unit provided for accommodation on rental basis for one night or more. Minimum number of units should be 5 with their utilities (one room or more, Dinning room, Kitchen and Toilet as minimum).  This regulation will be implemented on the first of Muharam 1420 H. All owners of furnished apartments should rectify their situation before the end of Thul Hujja 1419 H. Those who are not compliant with the new regulation should finish their activities within 6 months.  The furnished apartments will be classified into three categories, which are first, second and third. Each will be categorized according to the Ministry of Commerce evaluation.  The maximum cost will be defined by the Ministry of Commerce according to their category, the ministry will also, define them increase percentage in the high seasons costs.  The evaluation will be based on four main factors. The total evaluation points will be 120 points divided as follows; 45 Translated by the Researcher form Ministerial Decision number 969 dated 27/7/1419AH, for the Organizational Laws and Regulations for Furnished Apartments Units, Ministry of Commerce, Al- Dammam Brach.
  66. 66. 01  The building condition, including the interior and exterior. 36 Points  The accommodation size and furniture condition. 36 Points  Service and Facilities. 24 Points  Administration. 24 Points Each category will have a minimum limit of the total points which are as follows:  The first category, a minimum 120 points,  The second category 80 – 120 points,  The third category should have a minimum of 60 points.  Each unit will be categorized on the basis of the accumulative points obtained, every 2 years inspectors will re-evaluate the units and categorize them again.  All units management should comply with the ministry of commerce rules and regulations, as well as the other governmental agencies, specially the following:  Subscription in the network system with security authorities, and only Saudis should work on the system.  Registration of the visitors should be only from their legal documents.
  67. 67. 02  Denying any guest without legal documents or any female or non adult without escort (Muharam).  Separating the families units form the bachelors units.  Provision of local, national and international telephone service.  24 hour receptionist should be available and securing entrance and exits at night.  Provision of extra duplicate of all the unit keys to be used by the manager in the event of emergencies.  All employees should have health certificates, and should follow the appropriate measures for food preparation. These rules and regulations provide and important base in having information about furnished apartments. The ministry of commerce will monitor and impose the quality assurance on the furnished apartments. The regulations will force the furnished apartments to follow tariff index according to the apartment quality rank.
  68. 68. 03 3.3.2.2 Apartment Capacity The problem of the lack of management and control for the furnished apartments yields to lack of any information about them. The researcher relied on physical check and telephone conversation with apartment receptionists to estimate their capacity. The average number of apartments is estimated by the researcher to be 17.3 apartments per Building. They vary from one bedroom to two, and three bedroom apartments. On that basis, there are around 2249 units46 that can accommodate 2249 families. For the purpose of the study, we will assume the number of units for the (1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom) is the same which is one third of total number of units see (table 3.3.2.2). Table 3.3.2.2 Estimation of Number of beds for the Furnished apartments: Type of Units 33.3347 % No. of rooms No. of beds1 : 9348 One bedroom 749.7 750 806 Two bedroom 749.7 1499 1612 Three bedroom 749.7 2249 2418 Total 2249 4498 4836 Out of the previous table, we conclude by defining the capacity of furnished apartments as 4836 bed per day, which can serve 4836 tourists a day. 46 Estimated by the researcher. 47 Assumption of that each divides into 3 types apartment (1B, 2B, 3B) with 33.33% each. 48 Ratio of bed to room Clawson, F., Hotels and Resorts, 1998.
  69. 69. 04 3.3.2.3 Furnished Apartments Cost Variation Different from hotels, apartments do not have any regulations in terms of costs. The cost of a furnished apartment varies in the study area between 86 SR to more than 583 SR according to the unit size, location, the quality of service, luxury of the apartments and the season see table (3.3.2.3). Table 3.3.2.3 Furnished Apartment Cost variation - February, 1998 Location 1 BD 2 BD 3 BD Average Al-Dammam 159 178 182 173 Al-Khubar 211 279 583 360 Al-Thuqbah 86 130 140 119 Average 152 196 302 217 The above table shows that the average cost for a furnished apartment in the study area in the low season is 217 SR. While the cost increases to 360 SR in Al-Khubar and drops to 119 SR in Al-Thuqbah, middle in Al-Dammam. The reason behind the variation appears to be the location. For example, Al-Khubar is recognized as a modern city, also it is near the coastal areas from Al-Dammam. The other reason is that Al-Khubar has better quality apartments than the other two areas. 3.3.2.4 Apartment Occupancy The lack of information extends to the identification of apartments occupancy. In this case, the researcher relied on estimation and experienced judgement. Throughout the survey and interviews with the furnished apartment personnel, they defined occupancy interms of many features. First, full occupancy in high seasons (the two Eids). Second, 50% to 70% occupancy in the weekends.
  70. 70. 00 Third 20% to 30% in weekdays. Finally, 25% of the occupancy utilized by long stay residence see table (3.3.2.4) Table 3.3.2.4 Apartment Occupancy Variation Eid Holidays Weekends Week days Long Stay Gusts Occupancy 100% 60% 30% 25% Tourists 100% 35% 5% - Chart 3.3.2.4 Apartments Occupancy 38% 39% 40% 41% 42% 43% 44% OccupancyRate Al-Dammam Al-Khubar Al-Dhahran
  71. 71. 06 Table 3.3.2.5 Estimation of the occupancy of the furnished apartments Eid Holidays Weekends Weekdays Long Stay Gusts Total Unit Occupancy/ day 2,249 1,349 675 562 4,835 Bed Occupancy/ Day 4,836 2,902 1,451 1,209 10,397 Seasons Days 14 120 231 351 Touristic Nights 31,486 161,928 155,856 197,350 546,619 # of Utilized Beds 67,704 348,192 335,135 424,359 1,175,390 The above table indicates that tourist nights reached 546,619 in the furnished apartments. This figure is almost the same as in hotels. That figure indicates the important role that apartments play in providing tourist accommodation in the study area.
  72. 72. 07 3.3.3 Resort Villages 3.3.3.1 Distribution Most of the holiday villages are concentrated along the coastal line. The main two concentration areas are Half Moon bay and Al- Aziziah beach. The following table shows the distribution of the Villages, see table (3.3.3.1). Table 3.3.3.1 Distribution of Resorts Villages Location Number Capacity/ Bed Percentage Half Moon 6 800 68 % Aziziah 2 212 18 % Al-Dammam 2 160 14 % Total 10 1172 100 % 3.3.3.2 Capacity of Resorts Villages The villages vary in their size, capacity as well as the quality they provide. The following table shows the capacity and type of units in some of the villages. Some ideal examples on resort development are Gulf Village and Al-Nakhel Beach see table (3.3.3.2). Table 3.3.3.2 Capacity of Holiday Villages Resort Single B Duplex Triplex Total Sun Rise 16 36 52 Sun Set 30 35 35 100 Al-Khalij 251 Al-Shula 80 56 145 150 Al-Nakhel 200 Al-Tarfeeh 30 30 60 Total number of units 813 Gulf Village occupies an area of 4 hectares, and is Located to the south west of Al-Khubar city within a distance of almost 45 Km. its location over looks the gulf from three sides (crescent shape). The village has 251 furnished units with seafront. The capacity varies between 1-5 bedrooms. The prices per day for the units are as
  73. 73. 08 follows: SR 850 for one bed room, SR 3600 for 2 bed rooms, SR 5400 for the large units of 4 -5 rooms in two story units. The village has most of the basic facilities for the visitors like supermarket laundry, gas station, fire station, recreation center, gymnasium, and restaurant…. etc49 . Al-Nakhel Beach constitutes of 200 units.50 Shams Company for Tourism Projects constructed the resort. Which include a club, restaurants, commercial areas and a multi purpose Hall, as well as a gymnasium, swimming pool and other facilities. The cost of the project is estimated to be SR 60 million51 . 3.3.3.3 Occupancy of Resorts Villages The only resort village that provided the researcher with information was Al-Shula resort village; Hence, the information provided will be utilized to give indicators for the occupancy of the resort village. Table 3.3.3.3 Occupancy of Al-Shula Resort Village 1418-1419 H52 Months Thulhija Muhram Safar Rabi I Rabi II Jumad I Jumad II Rajab Total # Visitors 280 119 125 287 378 270 243 218 1920 Tourist nights 840 357 375 861 1134 810 729 654 5760 Occupancy 15% 6% 7% 15% 20% 14% 13% 11% 13% 49 Al-Hajry, F, 1998, P 417 50 Department of Planning, MOMRA, 1998 Unpublished Report. 51 Al-Hajry, F1998,P 418 52 The Researcher Investigation according to Al-Shula resort Village reception Book November 1998.
  74. 74. 09 Map 3.3.3. Distribution of Resorts Villages
  75. 75. 65 3.3.3.4 Analysis of Resort Villages Resort villages are mainly concentrated along the coastal line by 87% and 13% of the resorts in the urban areas. Capacity of the resort villages is more than 813 units. The units are provided in different sizes (Single, Duplex and Triplex). Chart 3.3.3.4a Visitors Monthly Distribution in Al-Shula Resorts 1/12/1418 - 30/7/1419 H. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 The AlH ijah M uharam Safar R abiI R abiII Jum ada I Jum ada II R ajab Months Touristicnights Summer VacationExamination PeriodHajj Vacation
  76. 76. 61 Resorts villages are provided for annual rental, ownership or day
  77. 77. 62 rental. The cost of daily rent varies between SR. 400 and 5500 for
  78. 78. 63 each unit depending on the size and the resort quality. The 200 250 300 350 400 isitors
  79. 79. 64 occupancy of the resort villages is influenced by two seasonal factors. First, the occupancy increases in the weekends throughout year. Second season is the holiday’s seasons (Eid Al-Adhha and Eid Al-Fetar) and the end of semester vacations. Chart (3.3.3.4a and 3.3.3.4b) shows the increase of occupancy in the two seasons. Weekends represent 58 % of the market with 24% and 34%, on Thursdays and Wednesdays respectively. Monday and Tuesdays have the second level of occupancy by 23% as some of the visitors incorporate these days with weekends as short leaves from jobs. The rest of the days represent the lowest occupancy as the beginning of the week. Chart 3.3.3.4b Daily Distribution of Units Occupancy 3.3.3.5 Cost variation of tourists villages Cost of the tourists villages varies according the size of the village and the amount of amenity and luxury the village has. There are two type of rent in the tourists villages one on a yearly basis and the other, per night. The cost of one bedroom unit per night varies between SR 450 in Al-Shoula tourists village to SR 5400 in Al- Khaleej tourists village for a unit with 5 bedrooms. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Units Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday VisitingDays
  80. 80. 60 3.3.4 Camping Al-Masud53 defined Camping in Saudi Arabia, an outdoor recreation, as the setting up of a temporary shelter, with camping provisions for a short or extended period of stay in particular, usually a natural outdoor, location. Camping has been recognized in the metropolitan in two different areas. First, along the coastal line in Half-moon and Al-Aziziah. Second, on the desert area within the metropolitan like Al-Riyadh road and between GCC road and Half moon road. Camping activities start mainly in the winter and spring seasons. For the past five years, camping started to diminish compared to previous years. In the past, some tourists provided their own accommodation and slept in tents along the coastal line. Nowadays, tourists spend their time in the tent and sleep in furnished apartments in Al-Dammam and Al-Khubar54 . 53 Al-Masud, M, 1990 54 The researcher observations. 1998
  81. 81. 66 3.3.5 Summary of Accommodation Facilities Three main types of tourists accommodation are identified within the metropolitan area. These are hotels, furnished apartments and resort villages. Hotels and furnished apartments are concentrated in Al-Dammam and Al-Khubar while resorts are distributed along the Gulf coast (Aziziah and Half Moon Bay). The following table indicates the existing distribution of beds in the metropolitan. Table 3.3.5.1 Distribution of beds in the Metropolitan accommodation, 1998 Hotels Apartments *Resorts Total Beds No. % No. % No. % No. % Al-Dammam 1235 37 2370 49 160 14 3765 40 Al-Khubar 1695 51 2466 51 4161 45 Al-Dhahran 404 12 404 4 Coastal 1012 86 1012 11 Total 3334 100 4836 100 1172 100 9342 100 *Including Under Construction Resort. Al-Dammam has a diversification of the three types while Al- Khubar has no resorts, Al-Dhahran has only hotel, while the coast is specialized in resort accommodation. The real problem appears, as 85 % of the accommodation is concentrated in the two main cities, which force tourist to live in the city and commute to the coastal areas and major attraction areas. That agglomeration refers to many reasons, which are:  Most of the hotels were established in the late seventies or early eighties when local tourism was not considered. Hence, most of the hotels were established to serve business visitors to
  82. 82. 67 Al-Khubar and Al-Dammam in which it is logical to be within the cities.  Most of the furnished apartments were essentially established to serve the residence on a yearly rent basis. Then investors changed the building from yearly rent flats to furnished apartments.  Lack of infrastructure in the coastal areas to support developing furnished apartments or hotels.  Investors get more secure investment by changing the furnished apartments to yearly rent flats if tourism becomes unprofitable or the project fails. Chart 3.7.1.1 Concentration of Beds vs. Locations
  83. 83. 68 3.3.5.1 Accommodation Cost Variation The above table indicates that the coastal area has the most expensive accommodation, which is resort villages. Then, Al- Khubar, by average cost of SR 262 which is less than the coastal by 70%. The last is Dammam, which is cheaper than Al-Khubar by 23%. In general, tourist accommodation in urban areas of Dammam Metropolitan is cheaper than the accommodation in the coastal areas. Furthermore, tourist accommodation in the urban areas is available in a wide range of prices that suit affordability of different tourists. Table 3.3.5.1: Summary of Cost Variation Hotels Apartments *Resorts Average SR/ DB SR/1BRA SR/1BRU SR Al-Al- Dammam 232 173 650 202* Al-Khubar 285 240 262 Al-Dhahran 386 Coastal 850 850 Average 301 206 750 * Excluding Resorts, because it is the only available one DB: Double Bed Room; BRA: One Bedroom Apartment 1BRU: One Bedroom Unit
  84. 84. 69 3.3.5.2 Summary of Tourist Accommodation Occupancy The table below indicates that Occupancy in the Al-Khubar is 45% then in Al-Dammam, which is 3% less than that of Al-Khubar. The lowest occupancy in the coastal area is estimated as 13%. The previous figures indicate, that the coastal area accommodations are the most expensive, which illustrates one of the main reasons for the low occupancy of the coastal area. See table 3.3.5.2 Table: 3.3.5.2 Summary of Tourist Accommodation Occupancy Hotels Apartments Resorts Average Ocup. Rate Ocup. Rate* Ocup. Rate* Ocup. Rate Al-Al- Dammam 39.25% 45% NA 42% Al-Khubar 44.25% 45% 45% Al-Dhahran 41.25% Coastal 13% 13% Average 41.6% 45% 13% * Estimated by the researcher
  85. 85. 75 3.3.5.3 Summary of Tourist Nights The table below shows that hotels and apartments have the highest tourist nights, which is more than half million. However, tourist resorts registered 38,577 tourist nights which represents less than 4% of the total tourists nights in the metropolitan. Hotels have the second highest tourists nights. Furnished apartments registered the highest, which reflects the demand on furnished apartments. The promising figure is that the metropolitan reached more than million tourist nights in the 1998. This figure represents almost 60% of the tourist nights that Saudis spent in Egypt. That clearly indicates attractiveness of the area, which can be enhanced by more improvements. Table 3.3.5.3 Summary of Tourists Nights Hotels Apartments Resorts Total Tourist nights Tourist nights* Tourist nights* Tourist nights Al-Al- Dammam 172,311 267,843 NA 440,154 Al-Khubar 256,188 278,776 534,964 Al-Dhahran 56,664 56,664 Coastal 38,577 38,577 Total 485,163 546,619 38,577 1,070,359 * Estimated by the researcher
  86. 86. 71 3.3.5.4 Holiday Impacts on Occupancy Holidays are one of the main components to have direct impact on tourism in the area. These are Ramadhan Eid, Al-Hajj Eid and the end of semester holidays. The study area benefits from holiday visitors. Hotel and furnished apartment mangers consider those days as the seasons for tourism. For many years, visitors have constructed their tents along the beaches. Before they were using it as an accommodation, but now most of the campers use the tent to stay there during the day and return to rented accommodation at night. Weekends have a very great impact on the occupancy of the accommodation. In the socio-economic survey, visitors are more attracted to visit the study area on weekends then in spring and fall seasons, after that in the winter, and finally in the summer. In general, the area attracts a high number of tourists even in the summer. One very important consideration should be taken, is that the decision on the trip for the study area depends on the free time of the tourist. Especially as a short vacation or weekend. The following table indicates the estimated number of visitors in each season. Chart 3.8.1: Seasonal Accommodation occupancy
  87. 87. 72 CHAPTER IV: Tourists Socio-Economic Survey
  88. 88. 73 4.1 Introduction As tourism is derived by preference, accommodation has the same nature. For a planner to draw up the tourists accommodation plan, it is essential to know Tourists characteristics and preferences. Such basic knowledge about tourists socio-economic characteristics would enable the planner to meet client needs and preferences. For example, the size of family would have a great impact on the size of dwelling units, and help in making decisions like promoting the expansion of hotels or furnished apartments. In addition, knowing what matches tourists affordability and willingness to spend in accommodation will reflect on the type of accommodation to be provided. 4.2.1 The Questionnaire and Survey Methodology The questionnaire distributed in the accommodation facilities in Al- Dammam Metropolitan. The questionnaire was distributed for 18 consecutive days between November 4 to November 21 in 1998, including three weekends. 1500 questionnaire copies were distributed to each accommodation facility of the study area excluding places that refused to cooperate such as Gulf Meridian hotel, Al- Andalsiah Suites and other small hotels, furnished apartments and resorts see table (4.2.2.1 and 4.2.2.2). The process in distributing the questionnaire was as follows: 1 Each facility reception received a minimum of 20 questionnaires according to their capacity. 2 The reception had the responsibility to distribute the questionnaire to each first time occupied unit. On
  89. 89. 74 the next days, one questionnaire was given to every visitor checking in. 3 Upon completion, visitors would drop the questionnaire at the reception. 4 The researcher collected the questionnaire every 2-3 days and provided more copies according to the need. 1500 questionnaires were distributed, whereas only 290 questionnaires were received, which are 19% of the distributed copies. As mentioned earlier that the response of the visitors was very poor, as well as most of the accommodation receptionists were not that interested. The questionnaire tended to cover four aspects of the study area visitors: First part aimed to get some information about, tourists background. The purpose of which was to know the potential market tourist origins, attractiveness, and the knowledge of Dammam metropolitan by frequency of visits, accessibility to the study area, type of accommodation they are using now, group mixture of visitors and the period they are spending in the study area. Second part aimed at identifying the main attraction for them in the study area through four points of interest: 1. Attractiveness of the study area in relation with other attractive cities in their point of view. 2. Direct questions of what attracts them in the area in which the researcher allowed open answers according to the visitor understanding. 3. Researcher identified ten assumed-potential attraction to be evaluated.
  90. 90. 70 4. The opinion of the visitors toward Dammam metropolitan among the other areas in the Kingdom. This part in particular was intended to have a clear idea of the tourist main attraction. Third part seeks to identify the tourists preferences regarding accommodation type, location, and preferred time of visit of the study area. Fourth part is directed towards the willingness of a tourist to spend on accommodation, food, recreation, transportation and shopping. In addition, what percentage of the total expenses is spent on accommodation. The last part is directed to the psychological aspects by considering the socio economic characteristics of the tourists. These include the visitors nationality, age, sex, marital status and family size. Also, dependent occupation, level or education, income and annual vacation. Enough space was provided for the tourists to add their opinions and comments (please see appendix I). 4.2.2 Questionnaire Distribution nodes: The following accommodation facilities were included in the survey: Table 4.2.2.1 Hotels included in the Survey Sr.# Hotel Name Number of Distributed Questionnaires Number of Received Questionnaires Al-Khubar City 500 1. Al-Gosaibi 90 14 2. Al-Nimran 60 11 3. Al-Muntazza 60 9 4. Al-Badia 30 4
  91. 91. 76 5. Al-Khubar Palace 50 8 6. Al-Iqpal 40 7 7. Al-Bustan 40 5 8. Al-Qadsia 40 6 9. Safari Al-Khubar 40 7 10. Al-Thuqbah 50 3 74 Al-Dammam City 1. Carlton Al-Moaibed 50 8 2. Al-Hambra 60 11 3. Safari Al-Dana 40 7 4. Safari Al-Khaleej 30 4 5. Al-Khayam 30 3 6. Zahra Al-Khaleej 30 2 7. Al-Harmain 30 3 8. Al-Manara 30 4 9. Al-Jabber 50 7 49 Total of 21 Hotels 850 123 Table 4.2.2.2 Furnished apartments included in the study Sr.# Apartment Name Number of Distributed Questionnaires Number of Received Questionnaires Al-Dammam City 520 1. Al-Murjanih 30 5 2. Najmat Al-Khalij Plaza 40 8 3. Shqaq Al-Khalij 30 4 4. Ibn Khldune 40 6 5. Al-Shatii 30 5 6. Al-Dawliah 40 6 7. Al-Shati Ibn Khldine 20 3 8. Al-Rfihia 30 5 9. Al-Khuzama 30 3 10. Al-Hazmi 20 0 11. Al-Uiairy 30 4 12. Mujama Al-Harmeen 20 4 13. Al-Huda Apartments 40 7 14. Al-Khuder Apartments 20 4 15. Al-Salam Palace 20 0 16. Al-Kmal 40 6 17. Al-Queary 30 5 Al-Dammam Sub-total 75 Al-Khobar City 630 1. Al-Khalejiah House 40 8 2. Al-Romansiah 1 30 5 3. Jwharat Al-Khubar 40 7 4. Al-Khubar House 30 4
  92. 92. 77 5. Shatee Al-Khubar 30 5 6. Al-Umair 30 0 7. Royal House 40 6 8. Al-Mousa 30 3 9. Al-Thoukair 4 40 6 10. Al-Salheah 30 4 11. Al-Nemran 40 7 12. Moon House 40 6 13. Najed Apartment 20 5 14. Al-Ouyony 20 0 15. Al-Jendriah 1 30 4 16. Al-Jendriah 2 30 6 17. Alrha 3 20 3 18. Al-Oyni Makkah St. 30 4 19. Al-Roydhan 20 0 20. Al-Sharq Al-Ousat 40 9 Al-Khobar Sub-total 630 92 Total Furnished Apartments 1150 167 4.1.2 Survey Difficulties Many difficulties were experienced during the socio economic study. Which were beyond the control of the researcher, the following are some examples: Lack of information and studies done on the study area, especially those related to tourists preferences, available accommodations and other tourism facilities. The lack of basic information about tourist population, which disabled defining the sample size. Hence, the researcher relied on distributing the questionnaire to visitors according to their accommodation facilities. Consequently, the success of the questionnaire is limited, due to the following: 1 The attitude of the administration was discouraging, which led to obstructions due to the following conditions:
  93. 93. 78 1-1 Exaggeration about the confidentiality of the facility and lack of decision-making personnel, as most of the managers are not Saudis. 1-2 Carelessness about the importance of the questionnaire, hence, no initiative in distributing and collecting the form. Many were very sensitive about their visitors and expressed their fear of inconvenience for the guests. 2 The visitors themselves were not very interested in filling the questionnaire, due to many reasons: 2-1 Saudi families don’t have enough trust in filling questionnaire and do not like to give information about their family activities55 . 2-2 The visitors feel that reading and filling the questionnaire is a waste of their time, according to some facilities managers who experience very low response to their satisfaction questionnaire which consume almost one minute56 . 3 Time limitations of the study to be completed within a specific time, and individual effort of the researcher himself was not enough. 55 Al-Thakafi, 1417, p. 192 . 56 Researcher observation and personnel interviews with some recipient personnel, and Park Plaza Suits, Gulf Meridian and Andalsiah Suits
  94. 94. 79 4.3 Tourist Socio Economic Characteristics 4.3.1 Nationality Saudis represent the majority of the sample by 67%, whereas other nationalities represent 43%. The other nationalities are represented on the sample with 10%, 9%, 4% and 7%, for Arabs, western, GCC and Asians respectively. Chart 4.3.1.1 Visitors Nationality Unlike other national tourist areas, Dammam receives more non- Saudi tourists. In Abha, for example, Saudis represent 93.5%, while GCC residents 5.9% of the tourists57 . Having this percentage of non-Saudi tourists is due to the fact that Dammam metropolitan is a large business center; and the short physical distance and some similarities of cultures for GCC residents. Out of the above observation, tourists of Dammam metropolitan form a perfect mixture of nationalities, which will help the diversification of the provision of services. The Government permitted tourist visa for International tourist in middle of 1998 to Dammam area as a new strategy in promoting tourism. 57 Ibrahim and Al-Qahtani, Selected papers form the fifth conference for the Geographical Departments in the Saudi Universities. P 239, 1414H 67% 7% 10%7% 9% Saudies GCC Arabs Asian Westren
  95. 95. 85 4.3.2 Tourists Age The majority of tourists are between (30-39) years old which represents 42%. Then, tourists of (40-49) and (20-29) represent 23% and 22% respectively. The total of the age group of between (20-49) represents 87%. Considering the fact, that most of the people in this age group are married which represents a high tendency of families to visit the area. (See chart 4.3.2.1)
  96. 96. 81 Chart 4.3.2.1 Tourists Age 4.3.3 Tourists Marital Status 2% 22% 42% 8%3% 23% 15-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+

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