The UAE and Kuwait: A journey of financial and economic integration between two brotherly countries | Kanebridge News
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The UAE and Kuwait: A journey of financial and economic integration between two brotherly countries

Agreements that elevate relations to new heights

Mon, Feb 26, 2024 2:43pmGrey Clock 3 min

The relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait is an exceptional example of two countries eager to enhance cooperation across various fields, including the financial sector. They are bound by several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that contribute to increasing the volume of investments and trade exchange to higher levels. The latest of these agreements was signed by the finance ministries of both countries during the World Governments Summit 2024. The agreements cover the avoidance of double taxation on income and capital and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance, which are part of the journey towards economic and financial integration and the free movement of capital between the two countries.

Among the most prominent MoUs in the financial field is the cooperation agreement between the Securities and Commodities Authority of the two countries. Additionally, a tripartite cooperation agreement in the field of securities was signed in February 2022 between the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), and the Kuwait Clearing Company (KCC). Statistics from the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority indicate that the total number of Kuwaiti shareholders in publicly traded companies allowed for GCC citizens increased from 3 individuals in 2000 to 40,979 individuals in 2022. Furthermore, data compiled by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Center show that the cumulative number of licenses granted to Kuwaiti nationals amounted to 5,745 licenses in 2022 out of 30,508 licenses for economic activities in the country allocated to GCC citizens, with an increase of 302 licenses in the year 2021-2022.

In line with both countries’ efforts to promote innovation as a work approach, the UAE Ministry of Finance signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2017 with the Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity, located in Kuwait, to enhance cooperation with the Ministry. The aim is to establish an environment conducive to innovation in various fields and enable employees to practice and use innovative methods in institutional work through developing projects and achieving economic partnerships with relevant entities in the field of innovation at local and international levels.

To enhance effective corporate governance practices for listed companies in Kuwait and raise awareness of their importance among these companies and all state institutions, the “Governance Institute” for Corporate Governance, affiliated with the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) and the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority signed a cooperation memorandum in October 2019. An MoU was signed in September 2021 to stimulate investment and enhance cooperation between the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which also signed an agreement in February 2022 with the COFE App to benefit from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s innovation program and establish a headquarters for the COFE App in Abu Dhabi city.

Since the signing of the agreement to establish the “Joint Committee” for bilateral cooperation in 2006 in Kuwait City, the two countries have taken steps that have contributed to strengthening bilateral relations between the UAE and Kuwait and propelling them towards broader horizons of cooperation and coordination. According to the UAE embassy in Kuwait, the investments flowing from the UAE to Kuwait amounted to about $837.8 million (3.07 billion dirhams) during the period from 2016-2020, while the value of Kuwaiti investments flowing to the UAE reached $1.745 billion (6.4 billion dirhams). Financial and insurance activities are the most significant sectors of Kuwaiti investment in the UAE, whereas the financial and banking sector is one of the most important sectors of UAE investment in Kuwait. The UAE also hosts two branches of Kuwaiti commercial banks out of seven Gulf banks permitted to operate in the UAE.

The trade between the UAE and Kuwait in the first half of 2023 reached 22.3 billion dirhams, while statistics compiled by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security indicate that the total trade exchange between the UAE and Kuwait amounted to 44.8 billion dirhams during 2023, and 44.1 billion dirhams during 2022, a growth of 15% compared to 2021.



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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

Jeddah

Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”

Riyadh

“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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