GCC security agreement signed

Updated 14 November 2012

GCC security agreement signed

RIYADH: GCC interior ministers signed a security agreement yesterday, which will make them a unified force in the region. The pact aims at reinforcing security cooperation and coordination between the GCC member countries, said the bloc’s chief Abdullatif Al-Zayani. “The security pact will empower each GCC country to take legal action, based on its own legislation, against citizens or residents or organized groups that are linked to crime, terrorism or dissension,” said Al-Zayani. The member countries will also exchange information and expertise to combat all forms of crime, said the GCC chief.
An official said that the initial security agreement was announced in Manama in December 1994, but only Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman endorsed it at the time. Qatar entered the pact in 2009. The GCC leaders, at their 2010 summit in Kuwait, called for building on the understanding by putting it to a committee of experts and specialists from the GCC countries.

One million people needed in Saudi tourism workforce to achieve Vision 2030 goal, says Red Sea Development Co. CEO

Updated 2 min 33 sec ago

One million people needed in Saudi tourism workforce to achieve Vision 2030 goal, says Red Sea Development Co. CEO

  • John Pagano made the statement during the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh

RIYADH: In order to achieve the Saudi government’s goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2030, “we need over 1 million people to enter the tourism workforce,” said John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Co.

Today that “doesn’t exist,” added Pagano, who was speaking at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. There is huge potential in Saudi Arabia to expand beyond religious tourism, he said. The Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism development in the Kingdom, will create 70,000 new jobs, he added.

Pagano said the Red Sea Development Co. has launched scholarships abroad to study international hospitality management.

“Within four days, we had 12,700 applicants enthusiastic to pursue careers in hospitality,” he added. “The future is golden for the youth of Saudi Arabia if you want to pursue a career in tourism.”

At 28,000 sq. km, the Red Sea Project is “the size of Belgium,” Pagano said. He cautioned, however, that the environment should be respected. “The environment is our most valuable asset. If we damage that, we damage everything,” he said.

At the same session, Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said 55,000 jobs will be created by 2030 in developing the historical town of Diriyah. “We’ve been given the resources to develop on every level,” he added.

Gerard Mertrallet, the French president’s special envoy for AlUla, said there are “lots of opportunities for young people” in the tourism sector. The governorate of AlUla contains Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mertrallet said people from AlUla are being trained in culinary schools in France so as to become chefs. Tourism “has to be inclusive” and “respect the landscape,” he added.