Saudi Arabia introduces tourist visa scheme for GCC, UK, US and EU residents

Holders of a valid tourist or business visa to the UK, US or the Schengen zone countries can also apply for a visa on arrival

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Saudi Arabia has announced a scheme for residents of the GCC, the UK, the US and the EU to apply for tourist visas, in a move aimed at boosting the number of tourist arrivals to the country.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb signed a decree on Wednesday "to make it quicker and easier to visit Saudi Arabia," the government said.

Under the new regulations, GCC residents will have the option to apply for an e-visa online through the portal https://visa.visitsaudi.com.

The scheme will also allow residents of the UK, the US and EU to apply for a visa on arrival.

Holders of a valid tourist or business visa to the UK, US or the Schengen zone countries can apply for a visa on arrival, provided that the other visa has been used at least once to enter the issuing country.

The kingdom has also cancelled the requirement for many would-be visitors to report to their country’s embassy before entering Saudi Arabia, which will further simplify the process.

“Elevating the visitor experience is at the heart of the tourism sector’s future,” Mr Al Khateeb said.

"Through harnessing digital innovation and streamlining the traveller’s journey, Saudi Arabia is welcoming more and more visitors."

He said the move was part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and an important step in developing a sustainable, resilient and competitive tourism sector.

Vision 2030 is the kingdom's ambitious plan to speed up growth in various sectors of the economy, including technology, tourism, education, industry and the environment.

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Updated: September 03, 2022, 3:25 AM
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