A slew of initiatives were signed between the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during the visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UAE on Thursday.
Among the six accords signed during the visit is one between the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the UAE’s Ministry of Economy to issue joint visit visas for residents of both countries, in a bid to boost tourism to the two friendly nations. The agreement is expected to speed up the flow of traffic at entry points between the two countries.
On the energy front, the two countries agreed to jointly develop a greenfield mega-crude refinery in India. The refinery with a capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day and to be built at an initial cost of US$70 billion will be integrated with a modern petrochemical complex and located in the state of Maharashtra in western India. The project is expected to ensure a steady supply of at least 600,000 barrels per day of Saudi crude oil to the refinery.
Another agreement was signed on a strategy for food security that aims to tackle food challenges, not only in Saudi Arabia and the UAE but throughout the region.
An initiative in the field of Information, Communication and Technology on thwarting cyberattacks, enhancing cybersecurity and supporting reliable cyberspace in the two countries was also signed during the visit.
Agreement to set up an experimental digital currency exclusively for use by banks and to explore the implications of blockchain technology and facilitate cross-border payments was also inked between the two countries.
An accord to set up a Saudi-Emirati Youth Council to strengthen partnership between youth in both countries, exchange ideas, and coordinate efforts to promote young talent,was also signed during the visit.
In addition, the visit saw the two countries signing four new memoranda of understanding (MoU) in the fields of culture, food-security, health, and space.
During the visit, the Saudi Crown Prince accompanied by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoumd visited the headquarters of Expo 2020 Dubai. The six-month long mega global exhibition is expected to involve 192 countries and is slated to take place from October 2020 to April 2021.