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KSA: Oman and Saudi Arabia have forged a strategic partnership aimed at boosting tourism in the Gulf region, signalling a significant boost to international travel. In a recent virtual committee meeting chaired by Saudi Deputy Minister of Tourism for International Affairs, Sultan Al-Musallam, officials from both nations expressed a strong commitment to enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector.

The Saudi Press Agency reported their shared intention to focus on sustainable tourism development, presenting the Gulf region as an appealing tourist destination.

During the meeting, discussions revolved around practical measures to actualize this collaboration, including increasing the number of seasonal flights between the two countries. This move aligns with the Gulf Tourism Strategy. The Omani undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Azzan Al-Busaidi, and several other senior officials from both sides actively participated in shaping the collaborative initiatives.

The comprehensive nature of this partnership was further emphasized by a review of investment opportunities in free zones and economic cities during a previous October meeting in Riyadh. Officials deliberated on incentives and facilities proposed for the integrated economic zone project in Dhahirah. According to the Oman News Agency, the committee responsible for the zone’s development in Oman is actively crafting a comprehensive plan and overseeing the implementation of related programs.

Building on the momentum of these discussions, a meeting held in June between Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb and his Omani counterpart, Salim Al-Mahrouqi, yielded concrete plans for collaboration. The ministers agreed to introduce a unified tourist visa, fostering seamless travel between the nations. This strategic move aligns with their shared vision to establish a joint tourism calendar, facilitating seasonal trips and attracting a broader spectrum of international tourists.

From sustainable development goals to practical measures like increased flights and unified visas, the collaborative efforts signal a promising future for Gulf tourism, emphasizing the commitment of both nations to fostering economic and cultural ties through this shared vision.