Monday, October 23, 2023

Moscow Opens Its Doors to Middle Eastern Tourists with Fresh Offerings and Easier Access


Moscow continues to be an enticing destination for Middle Eastern travellers as the Russian capital continues to roll out several initiatives. Evgeny Kozlov, the Moscow City Tourism Committee Chairman, has underscored the Middle East as a pivotal partner in Moscow's flourishing tourism sector. A dedicated approach to attracting more tourists involves fostering collaboration between local and international businesses.

“Since the beginning of this year, the Moscow City Tourism Committee has organised 8 business missions in 8 countries, as well as 4 family trips to the capital. More than 100 companies from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have joined them. Such events make it possible to establish cooperation between Moscow and Middle East tourism industries and contribute to an increase in reciprocal tourist flows,” emphasised Evgeny Kozlov.

September and October witnessed the arrival of approximately 40 representatives from travel companies in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, embarking on a comprehensive familiarisation trip to Moscow. During their visit, they explored Moscow's extensive tourism potential and engaged in numerous business discussions with local counterparts. Moreover, they were introduced to the "Moscow+" program, which not only unveils the charm of Moscow but also provides access to other captivating Russian cities, including Kazan and destinations in the Moscow region. With Moscow serving as the central transportation hub of the nation, exploring nearby suburbs, with their magnificent monasteries and fortresses in Sergiev Posad, Kolomna, and Zvenigorod, is made conveniently accessible. For those seeking greater adventure, high-speed trains offer a swift journey to St. Petersburg, known as Russia's "northern" capital, celebrated for its White Nights.

Experts in the tourism industry from the Middle East have emphasised the potential appeal of Moscow's countryside infrastructure, which includes an array of spa complexes, elegant estates, golf clubs, and ethnoparks. Winter tourism promises to be a unique and unforgettable experience for Middle Eastern travellers, particularly during the New Year holidays when Moscow undergoes a breathtaking transformation, captivating visitors of all ages.

Travelling from the Middle East to Moscow has become increasingly convenient. Presently, there are over 100 flights connecting the United Arab Emirates and Moscow, complemented by regular flight connections to countries like Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and other Middle Eastern nations. In August, Russia introduced e-visas for citizens of 55 countries, including Middle Eastern states. These e-visas are valid for 60 days from the issue date, granting tourists a 16-day stay in Russia. Moreover, Russia is actively exploring the possibility of abolishing tourist visas for citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait by 2024. Already, citizens of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar enjoy a visa-free regime for travel to Moscow.



Melwyn Abraham

Najwa Jaberi

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