Tag Archives: KSA

Wizz Air introduces new routes to KSA from Europe and the UAE

Wizz Air is launching exciting new routes from Dammam, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Rome, Vienna and Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi route will be operated by Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, Wizz Air’s joint venture airline with ADQ. Launching in September 2022, the new destinations are the first step towards a growing presence in KSA which will provide for the first time truly affordable, hassle-free, point to point travel for tourists and residents in the Kingdom, Europe and the UAE, strengthening global connectivity. The new routes by Wizz Air introduce a new era of travel to the Residents of KSA by unlocking affordable travel opportunities and giving them access to WIZZ’s incredibly low fares. Tickets for all routes are already on sale on wizzair.com and the airline’s mobile app, with fares starting from 24.99€.* Last month Wizz Air signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Investment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supported by the Saudi National Air Connectivity Programme (a Ministry of Tourism initiative) to support the development of the Saudi Tourism Sector. The MoU reflects a shared vision between the parties on the potential Wizz Air could bring to the Kingdom to stimulate tourist demand, thereby making a significant contribution to Saudi Arabia’s planned growth. The new destinations support the growing Saudi Arabian tourism sector, aligning with the Vision 2030 programme, a strategic and ambitious vision to triple passenger traffic in the Kingdom by 2030. The ultra-low-cost routes will boost the burgeoning tourism industry and significantly increase connectivity for residents in Europe and the region, with key strategic government partners collaborating to add to the Saudi aviation ecosystem. Robert Carey, President of Wizz Air, …

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Saudi Arabia Ministry of Culture visits Korea to boost cultural ties between the two nations

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture visited Korea for two days from June 8th to June 9th to strengthen the bilateral cultural relationship between the Kingdom and Korea. His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture; His Excellency Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, Vice Minister of Culture and CEOs from the Film, Music Commissions visited Korea. Over the two-day visit, the delegation met with key government officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) and Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, and business leaders in cultural powerhouses including CJ ENM and SM Entertainment to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries. During the meeting with the MCST minister Park Bo-gyoon, His Highness lauded ‘Hallyu (K-wave)’ that is sweeping across the globe, and sought opportunities for cooperation in various cultural fields. The visit also included a meeting with the Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, an affiliated organization under the Korea Cultural Heritage Administration, where insightful conversations on the protection, preservation, transmission of cultural heritages, and introduction various cultural heritages of the Kingdom took place. One of the most important milestones during this visit was the collaboration framework agreement signed between Saudi Ministry of Culture, and CJ ENM According to the agreement, the two parties agreed to boost cooperation and cultural exchange in the areas of music, cultural events, film and other cultural sectors. Over the next ten years, the two parties will jointly implement cultural events, make bilateral investments, develop exchange programs, nurture talent in both nations, and collaborate on Saudi-Korean content. Also, a meeting with SM Entertainment was held at SM Entertainment’s headquarters in Seong-su, where in-depth conversations were held on ways for collaborating in the field of …

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Saudi announces eVisa for GCC Residents

As Saudi Arabia eases restrictions they continue to ensure that entry to the destination or visas to become more easily accessible thanks to the implementation of online visas. Foreign nationals who live in one of the Gulf Cooperation Countries and hold an eligible passport can obtain their online visa and enjoy stays of up to 3 months in Saudi Arabia. Most foreign citizens must get a visa for Saudi Arabia if they wish to enter the Kingdom. The only exception is represented by nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). Although GCC citizens can visit Saudi Arabia visa-free, third-country nationals who live in one of the GCC nations and hold a residence permit must get a visa unless they have a Saudi passport. Fortunately, many GCC residents can get the Saudi eVisa online. Eligible GCC residents can apply for a Saudi eVisa in minutes. All they need is a reliable internet connection. GCC residents can follow the below steps to obtain a Saudi Arabia eVisa: Fill out the online application form in all of its parts, Upload copies of the relevant documents (such as their valid passport), Pay the application fee and wait for the visa to be sent via email. The application can be completed from anywhere in the world — GCC residents do not have to physically be on GCC territory nor their home country when they apply. They can use a device of their choice to connect to the online application system, including their mobile phone. This allows for great flexibility as they can send their eVisa request on the go. The Saudi eVisa form was designed to be straightforward and easy to complete. Most applicants can …

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UNWTO focus on inclusivity and sustainability at the Regional Council meeting in Jeddah

The 116th session of the Executive Council was held in Jeddah Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time. It was the largest meeting of the Executive Council since the start of the pandemic, with more than 200 participants and 32 countries represented. Members noted that the meeting came at a pivotal point for the sector as it learns from the lessons of the pandemic while at the same time looking ahead to a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future. Tourism is united and determined like never before, and UNWTO is guiding it forward, with inclusivity and sustainability at the very heart of all our work “We have faced up to a triple crisis: an ongoing pandemic, a climate emergency and now the return of war in Europe,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said. He stressed that “tourism is united and determined like never before, and UNWTO is guiding it forward, with inclusivity and sustainability at the very heart of all our work”. In his report to Members on achievements since the previous Council meeting six months ago, the Secretary-General illustrated how UNWTO is seizing tourism’s unprecedented relevance, including within the United Nations, in national recovery and growth plans and within the wider public and media conversation. UNWTO laid out its plans to keep advancing the priorities around fostering sustainability, promoting tourism jobs and education, growing tourism investments and accelerating its digital transformation. The Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and host of the Executive Council, Ahmed Al Khateeb, said: “Tourism’s restart in many countries around the world offers a unique chance to rethink tourism governance, communications and beyond. We have an incredible opportunity to set a new way forward, to …

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Wizz Air to expand to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wizz Air Holdings Plc signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“the MoU”) together with the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA” or “the Kingdom”), supported by the Saudi National Air Connectivity Programme (a Ministry of Tourism initiative to support the development of the Saudi Tourism Sector). The purpose of the MoU is to explore airline market development opportunities in the Kingdom. The Kingdom has launched a strategic and ambitious vision to triple passenger traffic in the Kingdom by 2030 as part of the Vision 2030 programme. This will provide unprecedented opportunities for airlines and the aviation supply chain. Wizz Air’s innovative and sustainable ultra-low-cost-carrier model is proven to develop markets by making air travel affordable for more people than ever before. The MoU reflects a shared vision between the parties on the potential Wizz Air could bring to the Kingdom to stimulate new demand, thereby making a significant contribution to Saudi Arabia’s planned growth. The parties will work together to enable potential investment and operating models to benefit and add to the Saudi Arabian aviation ecosystem, boosting its tourism industry and significantly increasing its connectivity.  

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Saudi Arabia moves up 10 places in global tourism ranking

Saudi Arabia moved up 10 places to 33rd in the world overall, in the 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index, which was released recently at Davos. The independent index benchmarks 117 countries on 17 pillars crucial to the development and resilience of their travel and tourism industries. Saudi Arabia moved from 43rd in 2019 to 33rd in 2021, the second largest rise in rankings, as a result of improvements across almost all indicators.  This is the first report to be produced since Saudi Arabia opened for international tourism in September 2019. In 2019, Saudi Arabia launched the National Tourism Strategy, a clear plan to drive forward the aims of Vision 2030. These aims will increase the contribution of the tourism sector to 10% of GDP, create 1million new jobs, and attract 100 million local and international visits annually by 2030. The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index is a key indicator of Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary journey as a global tourism leader. Saudi Arabia’s leadership, resources and ambition are driving the monumental growth of the sector and delivering on Vision 2030 goals. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia said: “I am proud of the progress the Kingdom has made through our Vision 2030 reforms as we have opened to the world. Our success is demonstrated by our strong investment in the tourism sector – from creating jobs opportunities for citizens to working with global partners who are invested in our transformation.” “Our ranking is proof that since 2019, despite the global pandemic, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated incredible global leadership as a new tourism destination. We have made it easier to …

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Almosafer partners with The Tourism Authority of Thailand to boost tourism from Saudi Arabia

Almosafer and The Tourism Authority of Thailand signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to boost tourism between the Kingdom of Thailand and GCC countries. Almosafer’s consumer segment and The Tourism Authority of Thailand will work together to promote and develop quality tourism experiences in Thailand for travellers from GCC countries, with a focus on key niche markets including sport tourism, luxury tourism, and health and wellness tourism. Muzzammil Ahussain, Executive Vice President of Almosafer, said: “The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation with The Tourism Authority of Thailand today is an important step in meeting the growing demand for tourism from the GCC to Thailand. This partnership will provide our consumers with the best experiences while strengthening ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand is an increasingly popular destination and we look forward to working together with The Tourism Authority to enable many visitors from the GCC to experience all that Thailand has to offer.” The MOC follows the announcement on 9 March 2022 permitting Saudi nationals to travel to Thailand which marked the end of a travel ban for nationals wanting to visit the popular Southeast Asian destination. Since the announcement, Almosafer has experienced huge growth in demand for travel from Saudi Arabia to Thailand with a 470% increase in demand compared to January 2022 and a 268% increase compared to February 2022. Thailand is currently a very popular international destination for visitors from the GCC, especially from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where Thailand ranks in the top 5 and top 9 international destinations respectively. During the month of May to date, searches for Thailand on Almosafer’s platform grew by 1100% in Saudi …

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Bahrain and KSA to receive electronic visa waiver status from 1st June 2022 for UK

It was announced by the UK Government that, from 1 June, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will join other Gulf Cooperation Council countries with UK electronic visa waiver status, making it easier and cheaper to travel to the UK. This positive change comes as the UK is open to business and welcoming back international visitors with all COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted.  VisitBritain has already been rolling out a multi-million-pound global GREAT Britain marketing campaign “Welcome to another side of Britain” to inspire visitors to book a trip to the UK. VisitBritain Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa (APMEA) and North Asia Tricia Warwick said: “It is fantastic news that travel to the UK will become easier for travellers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who will now be able to obtain their British visa in 48 hours and for 30 GBP. Saudi Arabia is one of our highest spending markets, we know there is strong pent-up demand for international travel from the Gulf and making it easier for visitors to get to the UK is crucial to our message of welcome and to our competitive tourism offer. We know that GCC visitors are keen to visit the UK now that travel restrictions have eased and we can’t wait to welcome them back. GCC visitors enjoy our outstanding experiences whether that be in shopping, sports events, food or our beautiful landscapes. “VisitBritain is out in market competing hard for visitors from the Gulf at the Arabian Travel Market this week in Dubai, working with top travel trade buyers from across the region to highlight why now is a brilliant time to book a trip to Britain. We very much hope that visitors …

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WTTC Global Summit to be hosted in KSA in November 2022

It was revealed at the end of the 21st WTTC Global Summit in Manila, Philippines that the 22nd Global Summit will take place in Riyadh, the capital of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 29th November to 2nd December 2022. WTTC’s global summit was attended in Manila with over thousand delegates, which included world’s business leaders and key decision makers from across the global travel and tourism sector to discuss the recovery of the industry. In her farewell address Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “It has been a privilege to bring together so many leaders from across the global Travel & Tourism sector to the beautiful city of Manila. This Summit is living proof that nothing beats getting together, sharing ideas, debating the challenges, and finding consensus. We still have a lot of work to do to bring down post-pandemic barriers, open economies and harmonise health data for seamless travel. But the future looks bright, and the next decade is there for the taking. We look forward to our 22nd Global Summit later this year in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to mark the next chapter in the sector’s ongoing recovery.” Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said “We are excited to welcome the world to experience the excitement and the energy of Saudi. We promise you that the next summit will be fresh, inspiring, and rewarding.” WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report also revealed the Travel & Tourism sector was expected to create nearly 126 million new jobs within the next decade and Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP could reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023. WTTC’s major ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ sustainability initiative …

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Saudi Arabia aims to raise Global Bar in Sustainable and Regenerative Tourism

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to become a world leader in sustainable travel, not only by protecting its beautiful ecosystems but actively regenerating them for future generations to enjoy. Hailed as the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism development, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project will be entirely carbon neutral from its first day of operation, which CEO John Pagano hopes will inspire the wider industry to follow suit in embracing practices that protect the state of our planet. “We are setting the bar very high because our consumers will demand it and forcing others to follow our lead,” said Pagano, who also heads AMAALA, speaking at a World Majlis event panel during Dubai Expo 2020’s Travel and Connectivity Week, which concluded on January 15. The Red Sea Project and AMAALA are sister projects set along the north-western coast of Saudi Arabia. Pagano said factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and outspoken climate activists have served as a wake-up call to re-evaluate the direction our world is taking. For Saudi Arabia, this means stepping up efforts to future-proof giga developments such as those on the Red Sea. “Sustainability is more expensive, at least today, but competition will ultimately drive cost down, making sustainability more available,” he added. Though Pagano conceded that this approach requires larger upfront investments, he noted that it is nonetheless a price worth paying as there is no choice but to change course to secure the future of the planet. He stressed that the Saudi leadership backs this view as illustrated by its support for The Red Sea Project, which he called the largest tourism venture on the planet to be powered solely by renewable energy. As a …

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