Saudi tourists spent £78m in London in 2012

Updated 29 August 2013
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Saudi tourists spent £78m in London in 2012

Initial estimates on foreign tourist purchases in London during this summer season are estimated to be worth £4 billion. Official statistics have not yet been disclosed.
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.”


Third annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event yet

Updated 14 November 2018
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Third annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event yet

RIYADH: The third annual Misk Global Forum opened Wednesday in Riyadh, with opening remarks by the forum’s executive manager, Shaima Hamidaddin.

The two-day event brings young leaders, creators and thinkers together to discuss the future, the challenges it holds and change.

“What does the future look like, in a world where everything is changing?” So began the opening video montage at the third annual Misk Global Forum on Wednesday, with the theme “Skills for Our Tomorrow.”

“We want you to be inspired, not just by our speakers, but by your fellow guests,” said Shaima Hamidaddin, the forum’s executive manager, in her opening remarks, inviting delegates to a series of skills garages and majlises. She was introduced by Waem Al-Dakheel, the first woman to anchor the main evening news on Saudi TV at the Saudi Broadcast Authority.

Hamidaddin asked for a show of hands from different parts of the world, showing that there were delegates from every continent except Antarctica (and she said the forum would work on that for next year). She then asked for a show of hands for those under the age of 35, pointing out that this is the youngest Misk Global Forum yet, with youth and women on every panel.

Hamidaddin pointed out that through technology, we are already more globally connected than ever before, but urged people to collaborate and interact with the speakers and guests from different cultures at the forum. “We must seize the opportunity for uniquely human collaboration,” she said.