Tourist visas will be issued by Saudi Arabia from 1 April. Currently, all tourists, including pilgrims, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia need to obtain a visa to enter the country, but with the introduction of new electronic permits, the process to get visas will be much easier.
With intent to reduce the country economy’s dependence on oil, Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has been striving to promote its tourism and leisure industry. Supporting the prince in this endeavour would be the House of Saud’s members, including the head of the SCTH (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage), Prince Sultan bin Salman.
Bin Salman was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the Arab state is currently open to people doing business, working and Investing in Saudi Arabia, and people who were visiting the country for special purposes. He said that it will now be open again for tourism on a restricted basis.
Hereafter, ladies, above the age of 25, travelling alone will also be issued 30-day Tourist Visas. On the other hand, females under 25 need to be accompanied by a family member.
Other barriers for tourists wanting to holiday in Saudi Arabia have been stringent rules for women, alcohol ban, restrictions on dressing and adherence to codes related to the Islamic religion.
Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, however, following in the footsteps of neighbouring Bahrain and Dubai is outlining plans with the aim of attracting 30 million tourists by 2030. About 18 million people visited the country in 2016. Vision 2030 Plan of Saudi Arabia includes the Red Sea development, which is slated to commence in later part of 2019, and the first phase is expected to be completed by the 2022 end.
The government of Saudi Arabia was quoted by The Telegraph as saying that included in the Vision would be the development of luxury residential units and hotels, besides all logistical infrastructures, which would include air, sea and land transport hubs. The 50 islands in the Red Sea on the coast will be developed and luxury resorts would be set up there.
The project was depicted by the country’s public investment fund as an attractive luxury resort destination set up across 50 pristine natural islands. It is said that laws governing them would be on par with global standards, implying that women may wear bikinis.
If you are looking to Visit Saudi Arabia, talk to Y-Axis, the worlds’ no.1 immigration and visa consultancy, to apply for a tourist visa.