The twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago has secured a landmark air bridge deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the richest countries in the world.
The landmark air transportation agreement, aimed at facilitating direct air links between T&T and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was reached at the just concluded inaugural CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
T&T’s Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, along with the UAE’s director of the General Civil Aviation Authority, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, inked the air transportation agreement between both countries.
A news release from T&T’s Ministry of Works and Transport stated: “Once in force, this agreement will facilitate direct air links between T&T and the UAE, promoting greater connectivity and increased accessibility. This presents the opportunity for more efficient and convenient travel for passengers and cargo and strengthening of the economic, cultural, and diplomatic ties between the states.”
This will be the first agreement that T&T has entered into with a Middle-Eastern state and has the potential for increased tourism from the UAE and other regions connected to it, as well as facilitating access for travellers from T&T to hubs in the UAE, such as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
World Cup 2034 bid
CARICOM member states agreed to endorse Saudi Arabia’s candidacy to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup and also to support Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, according to the joint statement released at the end of the summit.
According to the document, Saudi Arabia also agreed:
• To joint efforts to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity through mutual respect and cooperation between countries and regions, to achieve sustainable development and progress and maintain the rules-based international order based on adherence to international law and the United Nations Charter;
• To undertake consultations and explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest between both sides, namely education (scholarships), health, maritime cooperation, connectivity, logistics, food security, energy, security, tourism, economic and other possible areas of cooperation, where appropriate, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
• To strengthen ties between the two sides at the multilateral and bilateral levels, and in global fora by pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, tourism infrastructure development, as well as creating business opportunities in the ICT/Global Digital Services sector and boosting trade and investment flows by creating mutually-beneficial opportunities for joint investments, with special emphasis on sustainable infrastructure, renewables, trade, tourism, logistics and connectivity;
• To promote trade and investment relations between Saudi Arabia and CARICOM by enhancing public-private partnership and business-to-business relations between both regions, using available and new physical and online platforms, trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and dialogue;
• To welcome Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) and its announcement to establish and host a dedicated MGI secretariat and allocate US$2.5 billion to support MGI projects and governance;
• To support the announcement by Saudi Arabia about the establishment of an international water organisation based in Riyadh, calling for further decisive global action;
• To stress the important role that CARICOM and Saudi Arabia can play in hosting major sporting events, namely welcoming the fact that the Caribbean will be hosting the ICC T20 World Cup in 2024 and Saudi Arabia hosting 2034 FIFA World Cup;
• To stress the importance and urgency of promoting joint action towards mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts, protecting the environment and developing low carbon and clean energy technologies;
• To promote the cultural and creative industries of CARICOM and Saudi Arabia through cultural festivals, art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, book fairs and other events. Furthermore, encourage the exchange of best practices and capacity building in the areas of museology, protection, conservation and restoration of cultural and historical heritage;
• To promote dialogue among the people and cultures of both sides to enhance trust, and advance mutual understanding and greater respect for diversity, thus contributing to a culture of peace.
• To building on the two regions’ cultural diversity, openness and rich history to stress that tolerance and peaceful co-existence are among the most important values and principles for friendly relations between nations and cultures.
Saudi Arabia and CARICOM heads also agreed to hold a second Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit in 2026.