Zanzibar Seeks Direct Flights from Saudi Arabia for Trade and Pilgrimages
Zanzibar has approached the Saudi Arabian government with a request to establish direct flights from Riyadh to the Isles. The Zanzibar State Minister, Mr. Haroun Ali Suleiman, believes that such flights would provide a significant boost to trade and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
Moreover, having direct flights would facilitate the transportation of pilgrims to and from Mecca, streamlining the holy journey for many Tanzanian pilgrims. Currently, most Tanzanian pilgrims heading to Mecca are from Zanzibar, making the need for direct flights even more pressing. Out of the 3,000 pilgrims who traveled this year, over 2,500 were from Zanzibar.
Mr. Suleiman highlighted the advantages of direct flights, emphasizing that it would reduce travel inconveniences, as pilgrims and citizens wouldn’t have to connect through multiple flights in other locations like Qatar-Doha and Oman-Muscat.
The request for direct flights has already been submitted to the Saudi Arabian government, and Zanzibar is eagerly awaiting a positive response. The Acting Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Fahad Al Harb, assured continued cooperation between the two countries in various sectors, including health and education.
In a gesture of goodwill, Ambassador Al Harb also handed over more than one thousand dates to the Zanzibar government for distribution among vulnerable groups.