Malaysia seen remaining as important partner to Saudi Arabia

By TIN Media | Tourism Malaysia Published 1 month ago on 18 March 2024
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Malaysia will continue to be an important partner to Saudi Arabia, ties are expected to strengthen with the latter forging ahead to realise its Saudi Vision 2030.

According to Diriyah Gate Development Authority Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo, the relationship between both countries is strong, particularly in diplomatic, economic and religious aspects.

Of late, he noted, there has been an influx of Malaysian tourists and delegations into Saudi Arabia, which further helped to bolster relations between both countries.

“We've had a lot of delegations from Malaysia even recently, so it's very important. The Malaysian people have been coming here quite a bit now” he told SunBiz in a studio recording during a celebration event in Riyadh recently.
Moreover, new Saudi visa rules since 2022 have extended the Umrah-specific Saudi visa validity period from 30 days to 90 days, which allows pilgrims more time to complete their Umrah holy rituals.

“With the Umrah pilgrimages, now it's very special because prior to 2019, you had to return after you did your pilgrimages here. But now, you can come for a full 90 days and go anywhere in the kingdom, which allows tourists to see a very hospitable country, in addition to the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

“We've received a lot of support from Malaysia, it's a very close relationship. My project today, I'm working with over 20 Malaysian companies, so very strong relationship interpersonally, from a sociological and a commercial point of view,” said Inzerillo.

Early this month, Saudi Arabia received international recognition from the United Nations Tourism and the World Travel and Tourism Council for welcoming over 100 million tourists in 2023, ahead of its 2030 target year.

Its government plans to spend about US$800 billion on tourism and has since revised its 2030 target to 150 million visitors, aiming for around 70 million tourists coming from abroad.

Saudi Vision 2030, a long-term development plan seeks to transform Saudi Arabia, to diversify its economy away from its historic dependence on oil.

Malaysian industry players have taken the opportunity to be involved in various projects planned by the Middle Eastern country.

Last year, Malaysian-based SIBS Group secured a multi-billion-ringgit contract to deliver 2,174 apartments to Neom, one of the largest urbanisation projects located in northwest Saudi Arabia.

As per reports, the project will be delivered in the form of turnkey buildings from a finalised bottom slab upwards. In addition, the entire project is expected to be delivered and commissioned by the third quarter of this year.

In the same year, three memorandums of understanding (MoU) between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia private companies, during an official visit to Jeddah attended by prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim .

The MoU were signed between Dagang Nexchange Bhd and Ajlan and Bros Holding Group Co; the Kuala Lumpur International Chamber of Commerce and Wadi Makkah Knowledge Co; and Qhub International Sdn Bhd and Eromman Technologies Sdn Bhd.




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