- Özgür Töre
The Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) announced that visitors can now use existing UK, US, and Schengen area country visas to obtain Saudi Arabia visitor visas at airport arrivals regardless of their citizenship.
Visitors intending to benefit from the new regulation must have previously used the visa to travel to any one of these countries before entering Saudi Arabia.
The policy builds on the Kingdom's historic visa launch in September 2019.
Currently, citizens from 49 countries are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa of arrival into Saudi Arabia. The tourist visa allows for a stay of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries.
This is the latest step taken by Saudi Arabia to open its doors to tourists from different countries of the world.
Saudi Arabia is the second biggest tourist destination in the Middle East. Although most tourism in Saudi Arabia still largely involves religious pilgrimages, there is growth in the leisure tourism sector.
On 27 September 2019, Saudi Arabia formally announced the issuance of the tourist visa to visitors from 49 countries for a fee of $80. The visa can be either obtained online (eVisa) or on arrival. Ten days after the implementation of instant tourist visas, 24,000 foreign visitors entered Saudi Arabia. China visitors topped the list, with the UK and the US in second and third.