Saudi Red Sea project to offer visa on arrival for tourists

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The Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast. (SPA)
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The Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast. (SPA)
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The Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast. (SPA)
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The Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast. (SPA)
Updated 07 June 2018
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Saudi Red Sea project to offer visa on arrival for tourists

  • Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project has been registered as a standalone company
  • The venture will be will be headed by John Pagano, former director of London’s Canary Wharf business zone

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project will offer visas on arrival for overseas visitors following the creation of a company to deliver the ambitious project.
The project marked a milestone on Sunday with its incorporation as a standalone closed joint-stock company, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), wholly owned by the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The company, which in October announced Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as one of its board members, on Sunday said it had recruited John Pagano, the former managing director of development for the UK’s Canary Wharf Group as its chief executive.
The newly-incorporated company will now move forward with the creation of its Special Economic Zone, with its own regulatory framework, it said in a statement.
The framework will be separate from the base economy, with a special emphasis on environmental sustainability, and will offering visa on entry, relaxed social norms, and improved business regulations.
“The destination will provide a unique sense of place for visitors and offer nature lovers, adventurers, cultural explorers and guests looking to escape and rejuvenate, a wide range of exclusive experiences, combining luxury, tranquillity, adventure and beautiful landscapes,” said Pagano.
The first phase of The Red Sea Project — which will occupy an area greater than the size of Belgium between the cities of Al-Wajh and Umluj — will include hotels and residential units, along with a new costal town, an airport and a marina, and is due for completion by late 2022, the company said.
Authorities hope the project will create as many as 35,000 jobs and contribute SR15 billion ($3.99 billion) to the local economy.
The project, unveiled last July by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is one of the key developments in Saudi Arabia’s strategy to develop its tourism sector, alongside Qiddiya, an entertainment resort near Riyadh that will be two-and-a-half times the size of Disney World.
The country’s Vision 2030 economic development plan is targeting the creation of 1.2 million new jobs in the Saudi tourism sector by 2030.


Sandstorm and rain expected on the weekend in Saudi Arabia

Updated 18 sec ago
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Sandstorm and rain expected on the weekend in Saudi Arabia

  • Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region
  • Sub-zero temperatures are expected

RIYADH: A sandstorm engulfed parts of the Kingdom on Thursday, enveloping the skyline with dust and hampering visibility in some cities in the Eastern Province.

The General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection has forecast more such storms and low visibility between Wednesday and Saturday across the Kingdom, as well as light to moderate rain and snowfall to the north, which will lead to a substantial drop in temperatures in places, including Riyadh.

According to forecasts, mercury levels could drop as low as -3 degrees Celsius.

Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region, including Al-Kharj, Shaqra, Zulfi, Dawadmi, Afif, Aflaj and Wadi Al-Dawasir.

High speed wind and dust are predicted during the day time.

According to the forecast for Riyadh, especially areas north of the city, mercury levels will drop on Friday and Saturday, while wind speed reached up to 27 km/h in the capital on Thursday.

Residents in the Eastern Province, Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, Al-Jouf, Hail, Al-Qassim and Najran also experienced dusty weather.

Amid volatile weather conditions, the Civil Defense has advised motorists to slow down due to continued low visibility.

In other news, residents across parts of the Kingdom will be able to view a partial lunar eclipse just before dawn on Monday.

The eclipse will be 90 percent visible in Tabuk, half visible in Madinah, a third visible in Makkah and only marginally visible in Riyadh