Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Government will issue tourism visas for the first time, in a measure that will be applicable to 49 countries, and that is part of the reforms that are being carried out by the authorities to modernize the country.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Commission, Ahmad Al Khatib, said in a statement that “the electronic tourism visa will be issued in seven minutes and will benefit citizens of 49 countries.”
In his statement, Al Khatib said foreign women should wear “discreet” clothing, which somehow implies a relaxation of the strict conservative dress code for women in Saudi Arabia.
Tourists will have a one-year visa, which will count from the date of issuance of the visa, and will be authorized to be in the kingdom for a maximum of 90 days a year with multiple entries and exits.
Applicants will not need to indicate their religion, but non-Muslims will not be able to visit the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina.
The official said that a tourism development fund will be established to meet the new demands to which the kingdom aspires within Vision 2030, a comprehensive development project of the country launched by the Saudi Government.
The measures announced by the Saudi authorities in relation to tourism accompany others taken in recent months to allow the entry of foreigners who want to reside and invest in the country.
In September of last year he announced the granting of special visas for the first time to those foreign tourists who want to attend a sporting event or shows in the kingdom in order to diversify their economy.