Russia has signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates aimed at boosting air traffic to a number of cities within both countries.

The agreement came after aviation discussions in Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre.

A preliminary agreement was signed by the two nations after the talks, with more discussions set to take place in St Petersburg, the second-largest city in Russia after Moscow, in the first half of next year.

The news was broken by Wam, the state news agency of the UAE.

The agency added that the UAE is keen to expand on existing trade and tourism links via the strengthening of air transportation services with countries all over the world.

The agreement was made on Tuesday during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the UAE, his first official trip in 12 years since 2007.

The Russian leader was welcomed to the UAE by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

International and regional developments and mutual cooperation will be discussed between the two leaders.

The visit is taking place during UAE-Russia week, which is a collaboration of Emirati and Russian cultural heritage.

Russia is a vital resource for the tourism market in the UAE.

The Middle East’s trading and commercial hub, Dubai, and the whole of the UAE have been implementing methods of boosting the country’s tourism.

This includes granting visitors from Russia and China visas upon arrival.

The measures have succeeded in increasing the number of visitors to the UAE from the two nations.

Russia has risen two positions to sixth place as a Dubai inbound tourism source market, and the number of travellers coming to the UAE from Russia rose to 678,000 last year, an uptick of 28%, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai.

The national carriers of the UAE are also beginning to expand into new Russian destinations in order to meet the air travel demands of major cities and also some routes that tend to be underserved.  

In June this year, flydubai became the very first Arabian Gulf airline to provide flights direct to the major Russian tourism hub of Sochi, which is situated on the Black Sea.

Around 15 deals are likely to be signed during Putin’s UAE visit, across the defence, space and technology sectors.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation’s deputy director general Omar Ghalib Bin Ghalib chaired the air transport talks between the UAE and Russia.

Also taking part in the discussions were representatives of UAE airlines such as Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad Airways and flydubai.

Civil aviation departments from the local region were also present.

Anyone who is intending to travel from the UAE to Russia, or vice versa, will want to take out travel insurance before they fly.

Travel insurance provides financial protection from inconveniences such as stolen or lost items or flights being cancelled, as well as more serious issues such as falling ill while in a foreign country.


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