Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism has announced a new initiative to grant tourist visas electronically to eight more countries including Azerbaijan, Albania, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Maldives.
Nationals of these countries can apply for a tourist visa to the Kingdom either electronically or at KSA international ports of entry.
This step is consistent with the Kingdom’s tourism sector strategy and aspirations outlined in Saudi Vision 2030, which includes increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP from 3% to more than 10%, creating one million additional job opportunities with a preference for Saudi citizens, and attracting 100 million tourists by 2030.
The tourist visa enables individuals to visit various regions of the Kingdom and perform Umrah.
The tourist visa regulations state that tourists must follow all applicable regulations and instructions while in the Kingdom, including carrying IDs at all times.
The Ministry noted that the tourist visa does not allow the performance of Hajj or Umrah during the Hajj season.
This is an extension of initiatives aimed at increasing the Kingdom’s openness and communication with the rest of the world, as well as supporting development and economic diversification efforts, which are central to Saudi Vision’s key goals.
On Sept. 27, 2019, the Ministry launched the tourist visa program, targeting 49 countries, which increased to 57 after the addition of further countries.
Last March, the Ministry also allowed all GCC residents, regardless of vocation, to apply for tourist visas.
This is part of the Ministry’s efforts to give all GCC residents the opportunity to visit Saudi tourist destinations, engage in tourism and entertainment events, and familiarize themselves with Saudi heritage and tourist attractions.
The Ministry intends to expand the tourist e-visa system to include other countries and regions, in line with the ongoing growth and enhancement of the Kingdom’s tourism infrastructure.
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