Sharjah, RAK target new deals at Riyadh Travel Fair

Updated 24 April 2013
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Sharjah, RAK target new deals at Riyadh Travel Fair

Northern emirates Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah are looking to further expand their presence in Saudi tourism market. The two emirates will have their booths at Riyadh Travel Fair, which is running until Friday.
“Once again, the Kingdom has contributed the biggest chunk to Sharjah’s GCC tourism market with 195,462 Saudi tourists visiting the emirate in 2012, which is a whopping 96 percent increase over the previous year’s figure of 99,505,” said Mohamed Ali Al-Noman, chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.
Al-Noman described Sharjah’s participation in the Riyadh Travel Fair as an important part of the emirate’s strategy to reach out to the massive Saudi tourism market.
“This will strengthen the emirate’s tourism cooperation with the GCC countries, especially the Saudi market that is our biggest contributor in the GCC region and thus most important for us,” he added.
“Sharjah offers a perfect family destination for the GCC tourists with common traditions, culture and lifestyle in a modern setting and with world-class amenities,” Al-Noman said.
Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) CEO Victor Louis said: “We are looking forward to attend Riyadh Travel Fair for discovering new opportunities to strengthen the tourism links between two regions.”
He added: “Over the past two years we’ve spotted a growing number of Saudi holidaymakers choosing Ras Al-Khaimah, making the Kingdom one of our fastest growing markets as well as one of the highest spending per hotel guest. We see important potential for development here and anticipate Saudi Arabia will play an increasingly important role in our growth strategy for the emirate.”
With ever increasing visitor numbers from its primary source markets of the UAE, Germany and Russia, Ras Al-Khaimah is now looking for its reputation to grow as a top regional holiday destination within the GCC and specifically Saudi Arabia.
TDA sources said visitors from the Kingdom represented a small but high value and fast growing proportion of Ras Al-Khaimah’s tourism sector.
In 2012, Ras Al-Khaimah welcomed 3,542 visitors from the Kingdom, representing just 0.32 percent of the emirate’s total visitor number but a 234 percent increase in the number of the country’s visitors from the year 2011.
Saudi visitors to Ras Al-Khaimah also have a significantly higher average hotel spend per guest than other source markets — spending on average $ 110 per room in 2012 compared to $ 98 per UAE guest, $ 78 per German guest and $ 68 per Russian guest.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been receiving a huge number of visitors from Saudi Arabia for several years.


UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

Updated 21 May 2018
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UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

  • UAE cabinet announces the launch of an integrated visa system to attract talent and talent in all vital sectors of the national economy
  • The Council also announced changes in the system of foreign ownership of companies in the country, which allows the acquisition of 100% of the global investors by the end of the year

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates, home to financial hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is loosening its residency laws and will grant long-term visas for up to 10 years to investors and highly-skilled professionals.
The 10-year residency visas will be granted to specialists in science, medicine and research, and to “exceptional students.” The state-run WAM news agency says the plan aims to attract global investment and innovators.
The UAE Cabinet approved the new rules on Sunday, saying plans are also on track to allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of their UAE-based companies this year.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum affirmed that the UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. “The UAE has been open, governed by tolerance and contributed to by all who live on its land.
“Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation offer the best opportunities to attract international investment and exceptional talent in the UAE,” he said. “Our country is the land of opportunity, the best environment for realizing human dreams and unleashing their extraordinary potentials.”
The new regulations include raising the percentage of global investors’ ownership in companies to 100% by the end of the current year. He directed the Ministry of Economy in coordination with the concerned parties to implement the decision and follow up on its developments and submit a detailed study in the third quarter of this year.
The new regulations approved by the Council of Ministers and the authorities concerned have also set the procedures for implementing them to grant investors residence visas of up to ten years for them and all members of their families, as well as granting residency visas of up to ten years for specialized competencies in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields.
The new regulations also include visas for students studying in the country for five years and a 10-year residency for exceptional students.
Under current laws, foreign companies must have an Emirati owning 51 percent of the shares, unless the company operates in a free zone. Major brands Apple and Tesla are believed to be exceptions to the rule.