The Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) today announced that visitors can now use existing UK, US, and Schengen area country visas to obtain Saudi Arabia visitor visas at airport arrivals regardless of their citizenship.
Visitors intending to benefit from the new regulation must have previously used the visa to travel to any one of these countries before entering Saudi Arabia.
The policy builds on the Kingdom’s historic visa launch in September 2019.
Currently, citizens from 49 countries are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa of arrival into Saudi Arabia. The tourist visa allows for a stay of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries.
This is the latest step taken by Saudi Arabia to open its doors to tourists from different countries of the world.
The data coincides with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) revealing its top inbound source markets since Saudi Arabia’s opened its doors to international tourism. Since the launch of the new tourism visa in September, visitors from China, UK, Malaysia, United States and Canada have topped the list of new arrivals welcomed into Saudi Arabia.
Saudi’s historic sites appear to be an important attraction for tourists to the Kingdom. Amongst those surveyed by YouGov, over one in five (22%) are keen to visit Jeddah’s historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, another UNESCO site, previously only known to a few travellers, is gaining a following amongst Chinese millennials. Al Ula now tops the list of destinations in the Arab world of a third of Chinese tourists under the age of 35.
Italians top the list with 35% surveyed saying they would be more likely to visit Saudi Arabia following the new visa launch. British tourists were 15% more likely just ahead of Americans at 14%.