Taif cable car ops start

The cable cars in Abha... a similar operation has begun in Taif to bolster tourism there.

The longest cable car service in the Middle East, the Al Hada cable cars in Taif has begun operations and is proving to be a major tourist attraction.

Taif governor and chairman of the provincial tourism committee, Fahd bin Abdulaziz bin Muammar, said the new service is part of the government's efforts to boost tourism in the Kingdom with better facilities for tourists.

Shaikh Omar Khalil Al Dhabit, the managing director of Taif Company for Investment and Tourism which operates the cable cars, said the project began operations after experimental runs during which Saudi nationals were trained in operating and maintaining the project.

The cable cars link Assarawat mountains with Al-Hada and the project was built by a Swedish company.

There are 52 cable cars, each with a capacity to carry eight people, plus one car for VIPs. The journey between the upper station to the bottom takes 12 minutes and 1,000 people can be transported in an hour, said Shaikh Omar.

He also said that while the restaurants and cafeterias at both ends of the journey were now open, there were plans to also build hotels and resorts in the area later.