Sunday, 29 September 2019

Saudi Arabia opens to tourists from around the World


Saudi Arabia opens to tourism for the first time, unveiling 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Red Sea coast and the Empty Quarter


This Historic change marks major Vision 2030 milestone, fueling investment and creating a million jobs


                           In a historic move, Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to international visitors for the first time. A new tourist visa and e-visa are being introduced to enable tourists from around the world to come and explore this often misunderstood country.  

Saudi attractions


Visitors seeking unexplored heritage sites, an authentic cultural experience and breathtaking natural beauty will be surprised and delighted to discover Saudi Arabia's many treasures.

Saudi sites of interest include five UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Madain Saleh in Al-Ula, the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan.At-Turaif District in Ad-Diriyah, the first capital of the Saudi state.  Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Mecca, characterized by a distinctive architectural tradition.Rock Art in the Hail Region, showing 10,000-year old inscriptions of human and animal figures.Al-Ahsa Oasis, with 2.5 million date palms the largest oasis in the world. 


Saudi Arabia is home to 13 regions, each with a distinctive cultural tradition. It is also home to flourishing contemporary culture, with highlights that include:

The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture in Dhahran The modernist sculpture park along the Corniche in JeddahThe Jameel House of Traditional Arts in JeddahNassif House in Jeddah's Historical DistrictThe annual Flowerman Festival in AsirThe Winter at Tantora festival in Al-UlaThe Red Sea International Film Festival launching in March 2020Contemporary Saudi cuisine by Ali bin Yousef in RiyadhThe art of Zahrah Al-Ghamdi, whose work is displayed at this year's Venice Biennale

Saudi Arabia boasts a surprisingly diverse range of landscapes, including the green mountains of Asir, the crystal waters of the Red Sea, the snow-covered winter plains of Tabuk and the shifting sands of the Empty Quarter.


A number of new tourist destinations are currently under construction, including the futuristic city of NEOM, the Qiddiya entertainment city near Riyadh and a range of luxury destinations by the Red Sea.

Economic impact


Opening Saudi to tourism is a key milestone in the implementation of Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the country's economy and reduce its dependence on oil.

Saudi Arabia expects to increase international and domestic visits to 100 million a year by 2030, attracting significant foreign and domestic investment and creating a million jobs.

By 2030, the aim is for tourism to contribute up to 10% towards the Saudi GDP, compared to just 3% today. 

Billions of dollars are being spent to improve infrastructure and develop heritage, cultural and entertainment sites.

Saudi's airport capacity is expected to increase by 150 million passengers per annum and an additional 500,000 hotel key cards will be needed across the country over the coming decade.

His Excellency Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, commented: "Opening Saudi Arabia to international tourists is a historic moment for our country. Generous hospitality is at the heart of Arabian culture and we look forward to showing our guests a very warm welcome.

Visitors will be surprised and delighted by the treasures we have to share. Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a vibrant local culture and breathtaking natural beauty.

To visitors, we say: be among the first to discover and explore the treasures of Arabia.

To investors we say: become part of the fastest-growing tourism sector on earth."



For the first time ever, tourist visas made available via Saudi embassies and consulates across the world  

- Citizens of 49 countries will be able to get e-Visa online and Visa on arrival  

At a historic event in Ad-Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riyadh, His Excellency Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage, announced the launch of a tourist visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   

Applications for the visa can now be made at Saudi Embassies and Consulates across the world.

Citizens from 49 countries will also be able to apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa on arrival into Saudi Arabia. A dedicated online portal at visitsaudi.com has been launched and electronic kiosks are available at airports. 

The following are the 49 countries that will be eligible to apply for e-Visas and Visas on arrival.

USA
Canada
Kazakhstan
Singapore
Brunei
New Zealand
South Korea
Japan
Spain
Belgium
Malaysia
Austria
Cyprus
UK
Croatia
Estonia
Andorra
Denmark
Germany
Bulgaria
France
Hungary
Czech Republic
Holland
Italy
Finland
Ireland
Lithuania
Greece
Liechtenstein
Monaco
Iceland
Malta
Poland
Latvia
Norway
Russia
Luxembourg
Romania
Slovenia
Montenegro
Slovakia
Switzerland
Portugal
Sweden
Australia
San Marino
Ukraine
China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)


The tourist visa allows for a stay in of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend up to 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries.  

The cost of applying for an e-Visa or a Visa on arrival is SAR 440 plus VAT. 

Saudi Arabia intends to extend the e-Visa scheme to other countries in due course.  






Recommended for you...

No comments: