Saudi tourist visa rule all set to be changed


Saudi Arabia is likely to announce some major changes in visa procedures for foreign travellers soon, according to a senior tourism official of the Kingdom.

“Easing up accessibility helps tourism tremendously. The government will soon come up with certain measures in this direction,’’ said Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahad bin Abdullah, deputy secretary-general of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT) said.

Prince Abdulaziz was speaking to TradeArabia at the International Health Tourism and Holidays Exhibition in Bahrain.

The Kingdom has embarked on an intensive drive to restructure its tourism sector as part of its 20-year plan strategic plan for the industry.

It was earlier reported that the Kingdom is spending SR1.3 billion ($347 million) over the next five years to develop its tourism industry. The importance of tourism in creating jobs and economic growth is being realised at all levels, he said.

Talking about the unique marketing advantages Saudi Arabia enjoys, Prince Abdulaziz said the Kingdom is the heart of Islam and has a great tradition, history and civilisation. It has 13 provinces offering huge diversity in culture, climate and nature.

The SCT is leading the investment drive, promoting healthy tourism products and destinations.

He also said the Cabinet is likely to make a major announcement on investment opportunities.

For the year 2020, he projected a combined total of 141 million trips, which in turn could lead to the creation of between 1.5 and 2.3 million tourism-related jobs.