SAUDI ARABIA ENCOURAGES FOREIGN FLAG YACHTS TO VISIT FOR CRUISING
Entry licences provided very quickly through Jeddah Operations Centre
As part of its strategy to expand marine tourism activities as part of its tourism industry, Saudi Arabia is encouraging foreign-flag yachts to visit the country and undertake cruises.
According to a report on Arab News, entry licences to the country are being provided in as quickly as 30 minutes by the Jeddah-based Red Sea Operations Centre with appropriate civil and military officials working round the clock to issue the licences to foreign yachts, shipping agents or travel agents. Requests for licences can reportedly be requested by calling a toll-free number either in the country or outside.
According to the report the multi-agency centre can assist foreign yacht owners or their agents working in Arabic or English to receive the licences to enter Saudi waters. This initiative is said to be “in support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to reinforce tourism through facilitating entry to the country for marine activity purposes.”
The Operations Centre is managed by Saudi border officials working with such as the country’s Ministry of Tourism; the Ministry of Health, the General Directorate of Passports, the Transport General Authority, the Saudi Ports Authority, and the Public Investment Fund.
Commander Hasan Al-Asmari, the Operations Centre manager, was quoted by Arab News saying: “Launching this centre comes in implementation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives to set up a department for marine activities to reinforce tourism and support achieving the Saudi Vision 2030. Any request should include the yacht’s registration, its classification, and its marine radio certification.”
Following the opening of the Centre nearly 30 licence requests have been made and issued for foreign-flag yachts cruising in Saudi waters and in addition over 80 sailing-related requests had been received.
Saudi Arabia is currently working on a multi-billion dollar mega-project called the Red Sea Collection which comprises Neom City, the Amaala project and Red Sea islands. Marine tourism is a key focus of these three separate developments which include several marinas which will be able to accommodate up to large superyachts.