New Saudi Oman Collective Tourist Visa Announced
The tourism ministers of Saudi Arabia and Oman have announced joint initiatives aimed at attracting tourists to both countries and tourists and discuss a new collective tourist visa. The collaboration aims to enhance travel experiences, promote cultural exchange, and strengthen ties between the two countries. This exciting development promises to open up more opportunities for tourists and strengthen the bond between Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Ahmad Al Khatib, Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister, had a meeting in Muscat with his Omani counterpart, Salem Al Mahrooqi to foster tourism promotion in both nations.
According to the Saudi news agency SPA, the Saudi-Oman projects have a shared objective of attracting foreign tourists, citizens of both countries, and residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. These endeavors include launch of a collective tourist visa, seasonal flights, and a joint tourism calendar.
Furthermore, a collaborative initiative focuses on strengthening investment cooperation, particularly in the tourism sector. This initiative aims to support entrepreneurs in the industry and enhance the training of tourism professionals, in alignment with a strategy approved by the GCC leaders in December.
As reported by the Omani news agency ONA, Al Mahrooqi emphasized that Oman and Saudi Arabia are significant tourism destinations within the region, highlighting their abundant natural and cultural diversity.
SPA reported that Saudi Arabia welcomed approximately 164,000 visitors from Oman during the initial quarter of this year, exhibiting an impressive 136% rise compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. These tourists contributed around SR310 million in expenditure, reflecting a substantial increase of 71%. The data showcases the growing influx of Omani tourists to Saudi Arabia and the significant boost it has provided to the local economy.
In the first quarter of 2023, Oman welcomed approximately 49,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia, experiencing a remarkable 92% increase compared to the same period last year. The spending by Saudi tourists also saw a notable surge of 117%. These figures highlight the growing interest and economic impact of tourism between Saudi Arabia and Oman.
It’s important to note that Saudi Arabia and Oman are both members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. These nations share a common alliance and work together on various regional issues.
In a significant event in July 2021, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman made a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, marking the first visit by an Omani leader in over a decade. During this visit, the two countries signed a crucial agreement, establishing a joint council aimed at coordinating their positions across diverse fields. This pact signifies the commitment of Saudi Arabia and Oman to strengthen their collaboration and foster closer ties.