Saudi tourists spent £78m in London in 2012
Saudi tourists spent £78m in London in 2012
The contribution of Arab citizens to this figure is estimated to be worth £1.3 billion, says the British Commercial Association.
The average spending of a Saudi tourist reached about £2,487, followed by that of the UAE at £2,395, then Kuwait at £1965 per head and Russia and Singapore at £1169 and £980 per head.
There has been a 36-percent increase in sales due to the contribution of Arab tourism in London. This is translated to a 13.5-percent increase in employment rates.
The positive effects of Arab tourism in the UK are not confined to the huge revenues reaped by shops and businesses as a result of Arab procurement, but also contributed to the revival of the hospitality sector as well.
Simon Jack, public relations officer at The Leonard Hotel Marble Arch in central London, said that GCC tourists, in particular those coming from Saudi Arabia and UAE, as well as Libya, spend long periods in London during the summer.
Jack said, “Some families spend more than three consecutive months sometimes.”
The phenomenon has prompted many hotels to offer services in the Arabic language and allocate spaces for prayers. London-bound Gulf tourism has raised rates of hotel occupancy.
Jack said: “Last year, estimates indicated that Saudis alone spent £78 million on hotel stays in London. They are expected to spend between £93 and £101 million this year.”
Most GCC tourists prefer to stay in apartments in central London. “This offers them more privacy and allows big and extended families to rationalize in expenditure,” he said.
Amid the huge spending by GCC tourist, the British government stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries of these financial returns via the many channels available, mainly through taxes.
Peter Dey, tax expert at HM Revenue and Customs Department, said that tax benefits from GCC tourists to the British economy are categorized into several categorizes.
Dey said: “There is always this competition between Gulf and Russian tourists on who spends more during the season.
“But tourists coming from Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore are keen on restoring what they have paid in taxes as soon as they leave London because they are entitled to regain the proportion of taxes they paid while shopping according to the British law, unlike GCC tourists who often don’t bother to keep their invoices.”
Arab and Muslim nations, organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s decrees on Khashoggi case
- UAE, Egypt and Bahrain issued statements commending Saudi Arabia's royal decrees
- Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, said the king’s decisions “achieve justice and equality”
JEDDAH: Gulf Arab allies have backed the royal decrees issued Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Saturday involving the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The UAE on Saturday backed Saudi Arabia’s statements, the official news agency WAM said.
The Gulf Arab state “commends directives and decisions of Saudi King Salman on the issue of Kashoggi,” WAM said on Twitter.
The announcement also said that Saudi Arabia and its leadership is a state of institutions based on justice and equity.
Egypt praised what it called the "decisive" and "brave" actions taken by the king.
"Egypt sees that the brave and decisive decisions and actions taken by the Saudi King over this matter align with his majesty's approach that respects the principles of law and applications of effective justice," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It also offered its condolences to Khashoggi's family and said it was confident the investigation would reveal the truth.
Bahrain praised decisions made by the Saudi king to establish justice, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported.
“Saudi Arabia will remain a state of justice, values and principles,” an official statement quote by the channel said.
Palestine commended King Salman's decisions to affirm justice and fairness.
Yemen on Saturday praised decisions made by King Salman in relation to Khashoggi's death , according to the legitimate government’s state news agency.
Djibouti praised King Salman's decisions and said they are proof that Saudi Arabia is a nation of values, principles, and justice.
Arab and Muslim Organizations
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday praised the Kingdom's transparency and its emphasis on the implementation of justice.
Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, on Saturday said the king’s decisions on the death of Khashoggi “achieve justice and equality in accordance with Islamic law”, according to a statement on state news agency SPA.