Saudi Arabia announces free four-day transit visa when flying Saudia

Travellers can stay in the kingdom for four days, with document and a hotel night included free of charge

Travellers with Saudia can stop over in the kingdom without paying extra for a visa. NurPhoto
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The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced that a visit visa will now be issued electronically to ease travel to the kingdom.

Guests of Saudia and Flynas airlines will be able to enter the country for four days, with the visa validity extending to three months.

The ministry said the visa would be issued free of charge and immediately with the travel ticket.

The Stopover Visa welcomes all visitors to stay for up to 96 hours and includes one complimentary night in a hotel when booking through Saudia.

“In partnership with our national air carriers, Saudia and Flynas, we are using digital platforms to provide an instant Stopover Visa, which only enhances Saudi’s accessibility and our world-class destination offering,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive and Saudi Tourism Authority board member.

Travellers who wish to pass through the kingdom and visit historical landmarks such as AlUla and Riyadh's Diriyah can do so with the purchase of a plane ticket.

“The new stopover visa is yet another proof point in Saudi’s commitment to developing and encouraging growth in the tourism sector,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia's Tourism Minister and chairman of the board at Saudi Tourism Authority.

“We will continue to work together across government and the tourism ecosystem as Saudi transforms into a leading global tourism destination.”

This visa will help those passing by and wishing to enter to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque.

A request can be submitted through the Saudia and Flynas websites. It will be automatically sent to the ministry's visa platform.

Last week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Events Investment Fund to boost the kingdom's tourism and entertainment sectors as part of its diversification strategy.

“Four of the top 10 global routes were in or out of Saudi airports in 2022, a testament to the appeal of Saudi Arabia as a destination,” said Mr Al Khateeb.

Visitors to Saudi Arabia spent 27 billion riyals ($7.1 billion) during the first six months of last year, making tourism one of the kingdom's most promising sectors.

Updated: January 31, 2023, 2:45 PM