Saudi Arabia lifts ban on travel to Thailand

The two countries restored full diplomatic ties last month

Passengers from Saudi Arabia are welcomed by Thai officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province, near Bangkok on 28 February 2022. EPA

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday lifted its travel ban on Thailand, allowing citizens to travel to Thailand and Thais to enter the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The kingdom restored full diplomatic ties with Thailand and a planned exchange of ambassadors in January after Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Riyadh for an official visit.

Mr Prayut held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit and was keen to resolve issues between the two countries. This was the first leader visit in more than 30 years. Mr Prayut also discussed investment opportunities with the ACWA power company chairman Mohammad bin Abdullah Abunayyan.

ACWA power is one of the world's largest energy companies specialising in electricity, water and solar project investment and development.

“This is a great sign for Thai nationals living in the kingdom and Saudis who want to visit Thailand — it was an extremely popular spot for Saudis before the conflict and we predict many will travel to Thailand post Ramadan and during the summer break,” a local travel agent in Jeddah told The National.

“Thailand expects between five and 15 million foreign arrivals this year, depending on policies in place in its main tourism markets,” government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 5:06 AM