Saudi Arabia and Oman forge partnership to boost Gulf tourism

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Chaired by Saudi Deputy Minister of Tourism for International Affairs Sultan Al-Musallam, the meeting aimed to attract more international tourists to the region. 

RIYADH, Dec 26: In a significant development, Saudi Arabia and Oman have commenced discussions to elevate international travel in the Gulf region. The two nations are actively exploring initiatives to foster joint tourism programs, marking a collaborative effort to enhance the tourism sector.

A virtual committee meeting focused on activating the Saudi-Omani partnership in tourism, served as the platform for these discussions. Officials from both countries expressed a robust commitment to intensifying cooperation within the sector, signaling a shared vision for the region’s tourism potential.

According to reports from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the officials also outlined their intentions to contribute to sustainable tourism development and position the Gulf region as an appealing tourist destination. The committee delved into plans for increasing the number of seasonal flights between Saudi Arabia and Oman, aligning these efforts with the Gulf Tourism Strategy.

The meeting, chaired by Saudi Deputy Minister of Tourism for International Affairs, Sultan Al-Musallam, witnessed the active participation of Azzan Al-Busaidi, the Omani undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, alongside several other high-ranking officials from both sides.

The strategic partnership aims to draw more international tourists to the Gulf region by implementing joint tourism programs. Strengthening this collaboration, officials aspire to showcase the diverse attractions and experiences the region has to offer, fostering a thriving tourism ecosystem.

In a previous meeting held in October, the committee explored avenues for enhanced cooperation in free zones and economic cities, with a focus on further stimulating trade. Discussions in Riyadh included a comprehensive review of significant investment opportunities, incentives, and facilities proposed for the integrated economic zone project in Dhahirah. The committee, responsible for overseeing the zone’s development in Oman, is actively monitoring the implementation of all related programs.

Furthermore, during a meeting in June, Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb and Omani counterpart Salim Al-Mahrouqi laid the groundwork for key initiatives. Both ministers agreed to introduce a unified tourist visa between the two nations, aiming to streamline travel procedures and encourage tourism. The discussions also explored the establishment of a joint tourism calendar and the facilitation of seasonal trips between Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The ministers also emphasized the importance of boosting trade and investment cooperation in tourism-related projects. Entrepreneurs in the industry received attention, with discussions centered on providing support for their endeavors. Both parties reached a consensus on the implementation of joint tourism programs, with a specific focus on promoting camping and adventure tourism in the Gulf region.

This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of Saudi Arabia and Oman to unlock the tourism potential of the Gulf region, presenting a united front to the global travel community.

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