Dubai: The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) and Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost inbound tourism into Saudi Arabia and attract new segments of travelers across the airline’s extensive global network. The new agreement aims to capitalize on the airline’s global network of over 120 cities to raise awareness and amplify the Saudi Arabian experience for leisure travelers to come and visit the Kingdom’s unique attractions.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Mr. Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority and Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Central Asia, and Muhammad Bassrawi, VP of the Saudi Tourism Authority were the signatories of the MoU, at a ceremony in Riyadh. Also present at the signing were other senior executives from both organisations. The MoU underscores the importance of partnerships within the travel eco-system and the role different stakeholders play to support a more resilient recovery.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Emirates together with the Saudi Tourism Authority will explore opportunities to jointly collaborate on key initiatives to enhance the Kingdom’s global tourism competitiveness, including promotional activity and travel trade support across key global source markets to convert interest into bookings, sharing insights around market and customer trends, amongst other initiatives.
Through the strategic partnership the airline will also explore opportunities to align its schedules from key source markets in the Emirates network to its gateways in Saudi Arabia, providing greater connectivity and convenience for its customers and further developing inbound tourism arrivals. Emirates and the Saudi Tourism Authority will also evaluate ways to enhance the travel experience that cultivates a more supportive visitor infrastructure for those journeying to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina, the airline’s four gateways.
"The memorandum of understanding signed between the Saudi Tourism Authority and Emirates Airline will enable us to reach over 120 destinations around the world and attract tourists from these destinations to various Saudi destinations," said Mr. Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority.
"The Saudi Tourism Authority continues its efforts to attract tourists, promote tourism destinations in Saudi Arabia by targeting the most important major markets in the GCC, the region and the world, and forging important partnerships to achieve the goals of the Authority and the aspirations of the Saudi Tourism Ecosystem, which is in harmony with Vision 2030."
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: "We’re proud to strategically partner with the Saudi Tourism Authority and support its efforts to unlock the immense potential and attractions of the Kingdom’s vibrant culture, heritage and stunning biodiversity to the world. KSA has positioned itself as a must-visit destination and this is just the beginning. We have a shared objective to contribute to the Kingdom’s broader tourism plans to attract a diverse range of visitors, strengthen awareness of its iconic sites, and make them more accessible through enhanced connectivity. We look forward to growing our relationship with the STA and to positively impact the Kingdom’s tourism growth."
The partnership between STA and Emirates is part of the Authority’s efforts to build a framework of cooperation and integration with its partners in the private sector. This framework will support the wider travel trade in promoting tourist destinations in Saudi to travelers from all over the world and developing products services that enable visitors to experience the country. Saudi’s diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage and vibrant entertainment sector, all delivered with the unparalleled hospitality of the Saudi people, are a compelling offer for global travelers.
Emirates has been facilitating tourism and trade in the Kingdom since 1989, developing its operations to Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina, Dammam and today serves the four gateways with 53 weekly flights, including A380 services to Jeddah. The airline has also carried more than 25 million passengers to and from the Kingdom since the start of its services.