Dubai: According to media reports from the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, UAE and Saudi Arabia are working on a joint visa to enable more visitors between the two countries.
The announcement was made by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy. He was quoted by Al Eqtisadiah newspaper as saying, "This initiative aims at taking advantage of the enormous potential and great measures taken by Saudi Arabia to facilitate the entry of tourists to the Kingdom."
The new visa is expected to be finalised and enforced in 2020.
Sultan Al Mansoori said this at a session in FII which concluded on October 31 and saw over 6,000 attendees from across the world. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation led the UAE delegation to the conference which was attended by more than 300 decision-makers in 30 countries.
Around 24,000 foreigners visited Saudi Arabia since the new tourist visa system went into effect on September 27, Saudi media reported. Visitors from China have topped the list with 7,391, followed by citizens of the UK and the US with 6,159 and 2,132 respectively, according to figures released by the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Saudi Arabia envisages 100 million visitors annually by 2030 against 41 million at present.