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KUWAIT CITY, June 27: The problem of entertainment reared its head again, in the form of government reports on the requirements, opportunities and risks regarding the establishment of recreational and tourism activities in the Wafra and Abdali areas, reports Al-Qabas daily. A report prepared by the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources stated that there is a need to conduct a study that matches the state’s investments in the entertainment sector and the needs of consumers, with the aim of improving the quality of life for citizens and diversifying the local economy
The authority touched on the need for close cooperation with the private sector and entrusting the Municipal Council and the Kuwait Municipality with issuing licenses, allocating land and increasing the rates of investment and commercial and tourism activities. Regarding the requirements for establishing recreational and tourism activities in the Wafra and Abdali areas, the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources reported the following:
■ Consider structuring and developing the sites designated for the establishment of recreational and tourism activities in the Al-Wafra and Al-Abdali areas and the development of public services in a manner that generates revenues for the authority and contributes to development at the country level, in compliance with the mandate of the Council of Ministers in this regard.
■ Coordination with the Municipal Council to change the allocation of 10 areas selected for the temporary festivals in Abdali and Al-Wafra, and change the allocation of land (with an area of 5,000 square meters) from agricultural authority to investment.
■ Studying the development of a clear plan to announce interconnected and specific projects that have consequences on the economy and GDP, aiming to develop sources of returns from recreational and tourism activities, whether in those regions or others, and be among the components of GDP.
■ Assigning one of the consulting offices to prepare a vision of the recreational activities that can be implemented, as well as a feasibility study for the expected investment returns in those areas by aligning the state’s investments in the entertainment sector taking into account the needs of its consumers, given that a lot of investments have been injected into developing the entertainment sector in order to improve the quality of life citizens and diversify the local economy.
■ Giving priority to investments in these two regions in line with the specific needs of consumers in this sector, and ascertaining the national identity, in order to achieve maximum benefit from these initiatives and to be replicated in other regions.
■ A study considering the development of the two areas as strategic projects that fall within Kuwait’s vision 2035 and the celebration of its culture, heritage and national values, in preparation for the future inclusion of the entertainment and tourism sector within the state’s plans and national visions, through investment and strengthening the ecosystem for arts and culture.
■ Conducting specific questionnaires to monitor the levels of use of services in which citizens and residents will participate and understand their preferences in the entertainment and tourism sectors.
■ Inauguration of road and navigation networks, and bus transportation lines, which contribute to transportation and access of tourists or visitors easily from the main areas of the governorates to the targeted investment areas.
■ Providing specialized institutes to cover the future needs of specialists working in this field is urgent and vital to ensure the provision of new job opportunities on the one hand and the continuity of operating recreational and tourism activities
The authority stressed that there are many opportunities available to increase demand and return on investment in the entertainment sector, and increase its economic contribution, including: close cooperation with the private sector and solving the various obstacles it faces, thus contributing to the presence of opportunities for the influx of local and other tourists in the targeted areas, and this can lead to an increase in the economic contribution of the sector, which will help in achieving national development goals, and the preparation of a regulation to allow the establishment of (family parks, rest houses, stables, agricultural tourism facilities, etc…) in which priority will be given to owners of small and medium national projects, provided that the area on which the project will be established does not exceed 5000 m2 and inside farms 5% of the total area of cultivation. Challenges and risks as seen by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fisheries Resources:
■ The lack of clarity of the available entertainment programs, or the completion of equipment and service facilities with appropriate infrastructure, and the availability of hotel facilities to overcome weather factors, leading to a lack of public attraction in the targeted areas.
■ Regulatory and legislative obstacles and environmental impact assessment studies for recreational investment projects represent the authority’s biggest challenge in order to provide the appropriate investment climate for the private sector, which is reflected in the success of managing these types of projects, following up on the latest developments in entertainment in the world, and providing the best atmosphere to increase the demand for areas designated for recreational activities.
■ It is not possible to exploit the lands belonging to state property except through auction, as there are no opportunities for temporary investments during the seasons.
■ The reluctance of citizens (especially Kuwaiti families) from going to some open recreational areas for long periods during the year, and they preferring other outlets for entertainment during their free time, due to the lack of appropriate atmosphere to overcome weather conditions, especially the hot and humid weather and rising dust