Friday September 02, 2022
Saudi Arabia announces online tourist visa scheme for residents of GCC, UK, EU and US
A general view of the Riyadh skyline. AFP
Saudi Arabia has announced new regulations allowing GCC residents to apply for an electronic-Visa through the newly launched visa portal www.visitsaudi.com.
The Saudi Ministry of Tourism said that UK, US, and EU residents can also get the visa upon arrival.
Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb signed a ministerial decree that will make visiting Saudi Arabia faster, easier and more accessible.
Holders of a valid business or tourist visa from the United Kingdom, the United States or one of the countries of the Schengen agreement can apply for E-visas on arrival, provided it has been used at least once to enter the country that issued the visa.
The ministerial decree removes the obligation for many aspiring visitors to go to the embassy of their country before entering Saudi Arabia, increasing opportunities for potential travellers through a simplified journey.
Ahmed Al Khateeb said, â€œImproving the visitor experience is central to the future of the tourism industry. By leveraging digital innovation and making it easier for travellers to travel, Saudi Arabia is increasingly welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe."
"This is an important milestone as we develop a sustainable, resilient and competitive tourism sector while providing services to our people.
Tourism unites cultures and connects communities, provides opportunities and uplifts neighborhoods,â€ he added.
He further said that tourist visas are no exception with more than one million e-visas having been issued since the launch in 2019.
The amended visa regulation confirmed that tourists while they are in the Kingdom must comply with the law of the land, including carrying identification documents at all times.
The Ministry invited those wishing to obtain more details about the amended tourist visa regulation, and to know the list of countries whose nationalities can apply for a visa, to visit the electronic platform www.visitsaudi.com or the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.mofa.gov.sa.