Saudi Arabia is looking to increase tourism with
the launch of e-Visas and Visas on arrival.
Applications for the visa can now be made at Saudi
consulates around the world and citizens from 49 countries
can also apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa on
arrival into Saudi Arabia. The e-Visa scheme is expected to be
expanded to include other countries in due course.
The 49 countries are: Andorra, Australia,
Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China (including Hong Kong,
Macau and Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, New
Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino,
Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, UK, USA and Ukraine.
dedicated online portal has been launched and electronic kiosks are
available at airports.
The tourist visa allows for a stay in of
up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend up to 90
days per year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with
The cost of applying for an e-Visa or a
Visa on arrival is SAR 440 (approximately GBP 96) plus VAT.
His Excellency Ahmad Al-Khateeb, said, "For the first
time, we are opening our country to tourists from all over the
world. To those thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia, you
won't find a warmer welcome anywhere in the world. And you won't
find a people prouder to share the riches of their land with you. Make no mistake, this is Vision 2030 in action. Under the
leadership of his Majesty the King and His Royal Highness the
Crown Prince, we are delivering – supercharging a non-oil sector
that will drive growth and diversify our economy for decades to
come. Saudi Arabia is opening. We are opening our economy.
We are opening our society. Now we open our home and open
our hearts to guests from around the world. Come, visit Saudi. And
let us welcome you to Arabia."
Opening Saudi Arabia to tourism is a key
milestone in the implementation of Vision 2030, which seeks to
diversify the country's economy and reduce its dependence on oil.
Saudi Arabia expects to achieve 100 million international
and domestic overnight visits a year by 2030, attracting
significant foreign and domestic investment and creating up to a
million jobs. By 2030, the aim is for tourism to
contribute up to 10% of the country's GDP, compared to just 3%
In the first phase of the program, from 2019
to 2022, the focus will be on attracting first-time visitors to
"discover Saudi". The second phase of the program, from
2022 onwards, will focus on enticing visitors to "experience
As part of phase one, over 20 new tourist sites
will be developed, dramatically expanding choice and opportunity
for visitors to discover the country's treasures.
As part of phase two, the full development of Saudi's giga
projects will come on stream, including NEOM, Amaala, the Red Sea
Project, Al-Ula, Qiddiyah and Ad-Diriyah.