Travelers interested in visiting Saudi Arabia will soon be able to apply for an electronic tourist visa. By the end of the first quarter of the year, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) will announce all the necessary details about the tourist visa. The information will be shared once it receives the approval of the commission's board of directors.
The Saudi Press Agency reports that the SCTH has pointed out that a lot of information shared by the media about the requirements, eligibility, and details of the tourist visa for Saudi Arabia are inaccurate. No official information about the requisites has been shared by the Saudi Commission. Most details found online are based on deliberations and subjective perspectives.
According to a statement shared by the SCTH, “The preparations for the launch of the tourism visa are underway in full coordination with the ministries of interior and foreign affairs.” The SCTH said, "The two ministries and the Commission have formed a joint working group that will approve the regulations regarding the visas. The rules, regulations and details will be announced by the end of the first quarter of this year and will be published in the official gazette and posted on the Commission’s website.”
The director of the Tourism and Heritage Authority in the Makkah region told Arab News that, "Citizens from all the countries who have access to the Kingdom can obtain tourist visas." Saudi Arabia had a trial visa system period between 2008 and 2010. Throughout this time, over 32,000 tourists visited the kingdom.
Tourism in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is putting in place special programmes to boost the effectiveness of the people who deal with tourists face to face. Reports said that Saudia Arabia would allow women who are at least 25 years of age to visit the kingdom without the need to being accompanied by a family member. Other reports say that the women should be at least 30. Due to these speculations, it is best to await official confirmation from the SCTH about requirements and eligibility.
However, Saudi Arabia has an objective of boosting tourism and attracting more visitors. By opening up the kingdom for tourism it is expected that new job opportunities will be available for Saudi nationals. Last year, on August 1st, Prince Mohammed announced the launch of a new project. The Red Sea would be a resort built across a lagoon of 50 untouched islands. Some leading hospitality companies are going to participate in the development of the project.