Saudi Arabia lifts ban on travel using national ID cards for UAE and GCC citizens

The kingdom has lifted a two-year suspension, implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, on using the document to travel

GCC citizens can fly to Saudi Arabia with their national ID cards after the kingdom lifted a suspension on entry using the document. Photo: Etihad
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

GCC citizens travelling to Saudi Arabia can once again do so using only their national ID cards.

The kingdom has lifted a suspension on using the cards for travel that was put in place at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) in Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that the document is now accepted for travel to and from Saudi Arabia for all GCC citizens.

Saudi nationals scan their documents at a digital-Immigration gate at the King Khalid International Airport, after Saudi authorities lifted the travel ban on its citizens after fourteen months due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 16, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Citizens are reminded to check requirements for entry to any GCC country they are travelling to, as different rules are in place in each destination.

The family registry card for Saudi Arabian citizens is not a valid document for travel to and from the GCC states, said Jawazat.

National ID cards became invalid for travel in February 2020 after the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented the rule to coincide with the onset of precautionary measures designed to combat Covid-19 in the kingdom.

During the pandemic, GCC citizens needed a passport for travel within the Gulf.

Dubai to Jeddah third-busiest international air route

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umra on July 25, 2020, shows a traveller walking with his luggage as part of the first group of arrivals for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport. === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / MINISTRY OF HAJJ AND UMRA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ===
 / AFP / Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umra / - / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / MINISTRY OF HAJJ AND UMRA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ===

The new move eases restrictions for those travelling from the UAE to Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular journeys in the region.

Flights from Dubai to Jeddah and Riyadh have been among the busiest international air routes for several months, with Dubai to Jeddah being the world's third-busiest route in April, according to aviation data provider OAG.

The kingdom’s tourism offerings are growing, boosted by high-profile projects such as Trojena — a futuristic snow-filled mountain escape that will offer skiing, snowboarding and apres-ski vibes in Neom; and the launch of the country's first water park, a mega-project with 22 rides and slides that will be the biggest in the region.

Next on the agenda for visitors to Saudi Arabia will be Jeddah Season 2022, which starts on the first day of Eid al Fitr and is returning after a two-year hiatus. Taking place over 60 days, it includes shows, exhibitions, interactive experiences, restaurants, shops, bazaars and more.

Updated: May 05, 2022, 3:35 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL