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Once in a Life Time: Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which covers an area of more than two million square kilometres, is the second-largest state in the Arabian Peninsula – second only to Algeria. Following the recent normalisation of Thai-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relations which lay stagnant for over three decades, Mr. Jakkapan Rattanapet, Chief Executive Officer of WRS Group, took the opportunity to join a delegation to the “Land of the Two Holy Mosques” organised by the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier in the year.

The highlight for the delegation was the opportunity to meet the leaders of the two countries in line with the topic "Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom of Opportunities". The objective of the trip was to strengthen diplomatic relations and to explore new business opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and altogether 60 Thai businessmen and 150 civil servants travelled together. The delegation received a grand welcome from Investment Saudi and the Royal Commission in Al Ula, City of Goals, Living Museum from Vision Saudi 2030 and visited three major cities: Riyadh, the capital city at the centre of the Arabian Peninsula; Alula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to visit the tomb of Lihyan, son of Kuza; and Jeddah, the central port city of the Red Sea.

The itinerary covered both business and culture. In Riyadh, the delegation met with businessmen from many sectors. In Alula, the delegation visited Maraya Concert Hall, designed by acclaimed architectural firm Giò Forma, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest glass building in the world. The Saudi Arabian government has set the goal of attracting two million visitors to it annually from around the world by 2035 as the largest multi-purpose complex for theatre, entertainment and conferences.

The delegation was also informed that Banyan Tree Alula will be opening in the last quarter of 2022, reflecting an exciting new landmark and opportunities. The delegation also made an overnight trip to lively Jeddah, where it received a warm welcome from Investment Saudi at the Royal Terminal and had the opportunity to meet with many businessmen at the venue, the InterContinental Hotel.

The restored diplomatic relations means that both countries now have the opportunity to restart tourism-related activities with the other, as well as conduct other economic activities with more ease. In relation to tourism, the WRS Group offers expertise in providing all types of luxury services and moreover, during this trip had the opportunity to meet and establish a business relationship with executives from Seera, Saudi Arabia's most prominent tour agency.

Thai nationals who would like to visit Saudi Arabia, especially those who would like to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, will be interested to know that Thai Airways is now operating a new route that flies to Jeddah, the central port city of the Red Sea and the gateway to Mecca and Medina. For Business Class passengers, Royal Orchid Plus Platinum and Gold card members Thai Airways offers Pre-Select Meals including a Halal option for which the cooking processes are in accord with Islamic principles and certified by HAL – Q. Additional offerings for Business Class passengers are the Black Silk Blend coffee menu, and KanVela chocolate. For Economy Class passengers on the new Bangkok-Jeddah route departing from 19 August – 31 December 2022, Thai Airways is offering a baggage allowance of 35 kg per passenger.

If you are interested in visiting the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, please contact the Silver Voyage Club team which will facilitate your air tickets, airport transfer service, hotels and more by calling: +66(0) 2 016 9975 or by Line Official Account: @silvervoyage


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