Saudi Arabia Tourist Visas will be offered to overseas nationals from 2018 informed an official of the government. This is a part of the initiatives by the Saudi Government to identify fresh sources of revenue for diversification of its economy. It is aimed at opening the conservative kingdom to the outside world.
As of now, overseas nationals arriving in Saudi Arabia are mostly restricted to resident workers. It also includes their dependents, business immigrants and Islamic pilgrims that are offered special visas to visit sacred sites.
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Natural Heritage Head Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz said that the aim is to attract travelers to the nation. The Saudi Arabia Tourist Visas are especially for those overseas nationals who intend to experience the grandeur of the nation, he added. In all likelihood, these visas will be offered from 2018, said the Prince, as quoted by the Times of India.
Online technology will be utilized for the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visas to make the application process easier. Mohammed bin Salman Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the 32-year-old heir to the throne is seeking to develop new industries. This is aimed at eliminating the reliance of the nation on exports of oil.
The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be firm to bring about the change in its visa regime. This is partially owing to the financial crisis. It is aimed to generate revenue of billions of dollars to address the deficit in state budget owing to fall in prices of oil. Reforms in visa regime are aimed at lifting the Tourism industry. It is aimed to enhance this sectors business from 27.9 billion dollars in 2015 to 46.6 billion dollars in 2020.
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