Saudi-Uruguayan travel accord to be signed soon

Updated 30 March 2015
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Saudi-Uruguayan travel accord to be signed soon

The Uruguayan-Saudi air travel agreement proposed during the International Civil Aviation Conference in Jeddah nearly two years ago is expected to be signed in the coming weeks by the two countries.
“If and when the air travel accord is signed, cooperation between the two countries in various sectors will be stepped up,” Uruguayan Ambassador to the Kingdom Carlos A. Mora told Arab News.
The envoy expressed hope that eventually Saudia could fly direct to his country and a Uruguayan airline could also fly directly to Saudi Arabia.
At present, four airlines — Qatari, Emirates, Etihad and Turkish airlines fly to Argentina and Brazil. From there, passengers fly to Uruguay.
The envoy said that he had just received a message from the home office that Saudi Civil Aviation had agreed to sign the agreement.
Earlier, Mora called for enhanced relations between his country and Saudi Arabia.
He said that with the accord signed, it will be easier and faster for Uruguayans to visit the Kingdom for various purposes such as trade, investment, tourism, among others, and vice versa.
He said that Uruguay could collaborate with the Kingdom in terms of food production as the former has 16 million hectares for agricultural production and raising cattle.
Asked how big his country is, he said that “Uruguay is 170,000 square kilometers.”
He added that in the wake of the signing of the air travel accord, he’ll introduce a treaty for the protection and promotion of investment both in Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
He noted that the Kingdom also has similar agreements with other countries.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

AD DIRIYAH: The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”