Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have signed a new agreement to implement a joint visitor visa for residents of both countries in an effort to boost tourist numbers. The visa is expected to launch by the end of 2020.
The agreement was made by representatives of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the UAE’s Ministry of Economy during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Ryadh, which attracted over 6,000 attendees from all over the world.
The UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, said that the joint visa deal “aims at taking advantage of the enormous potential and great measures taken by Saudi Arabia to facilitate the entry of tourists to the Kingdom.”
In addition to increasing tourist arrivals, the joint Saudi-UAE visa is expected to speed up the rate at which passengers can pass through ports of entry between the two countries.
The visa policy agreement marks just one of 6 new initiatives launched as part of a new cooperation deal between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Other Agreements Reached by Saudi Arabia and the UAE
In addition to the joint visa agreement, the other new initiatives between the two countries were highlighted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a recent visit to the UAE to meet with Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
The two leaders announced the launch of a joint strategy for food security which will aim to tackle food shortages in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as other neighboring Arab countries.
Agreements were also reached to enhance cybersecurity and implement reliable cyberspace for both nations, as well as to implement an experimental digital currency to facilitate cross-border payments.
The leaders have also reached a deal to develop a new mega-crude oil refinery in the state of Maharashtra in western India. Estimated to cost around $70 billion, the new facility is expected to have a capacity of 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also revealed the launch of a Saudi-Emirati Youth Council aimed at strengthening ties between youth in both countries. He also announced that both he and the leader of the UAE had signed 4 new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) relating to matters of culture, health, space, and food security.
During the Crown Prince’s stay in the UAE, he also toured the headquarters of Expo 2020 Dubai, a mega-event taking place under the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The event runs until April 10th, 2021, and is expected to feature the participation of over 190 countries from around the world.
Joint UAE Visa Follows Introduction of Saudi Tourist Visa
The announcement of the joint visa for UAE and Saudi Arabia follows the introduction of the first-ever Saudi tourist visa earlier this year, now available through a simple online application.
The Saudi Crown Prince approved the introduction of the electronic visa system in order to open the country up to the world for tourism as part of his Vision 2030 initiative. The new eVisa for tourism is expected to help the Kingdom reach its goal of over 100 million tourist arrivals by 2030.
The tourist visa for Saudi Arabia is now available through a simple online application which only takes a few minutes to complete to receive an approved visa via email. An approved eVisa for tourism is valid to enter the country for 90 days from the date of issue.
For more worldwide visa information, visit onlinevisa.com.