How travel opportunities between the GCC and Russia are expanding

How travel opportunities between the GCC and Russia are expanding

Sputnik V vaccine approval and increased flight paths are set to boost tourism between the region and Russia 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, announced that Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of travellers fully vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine from 1 January 2022.

Saudi Arabia joined 101 other countries approving entry of individuals vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine following the extensive cooperation and discussions between the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia and RDIF, supported by the Ministry of Investments.

Fighting the pandemic while facilitating travel was the focus of the meeting between the Saudi Arabia Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel and Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, and RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev in Riyadh in November.

Upon entering Saudi Arabia, travellers who are vaccinated with Sputnik V will be required to quarantine for 48 hours and take a PCR test.

This decision will play an important role in increasing the flow of tourists and establishing new business ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, aided by the activities of The Russia-Saudi Economic Council.


Ties with Russia are also being strengthened elsewhere in the Middle East with the recent launch of daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Moscow by Etihad Airways.

Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas said: “After 13 years connecting our two capital cities, we’re delighted to introduce the 787 on this route and move to Russia’s newest and most sophisticated airport, providing better connectivity for guests between Abu Dhabi and Moscow in support of our objective to grow trade and tourism opportunities between our two countries.

“Supported by an increased daily flight schedule providing Russian holidaymakers and business travellers with even more opportunity to visit the UAE, this is the start of a new phase in relations, building on the strong economic ties between Moscow and Abu Dhabi.”

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