Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa: What You Should Know

Sights Syahirah Mokhtazar 02-Oct-2019

It was a historical moment when the conservative kingdom Saudi Arabia announced recently that it now welcomes travelers who are interested to visit the country for more than religious reasons.

For the first time, tourists are able to apply for their visa through Saudi embassies and consulates around the world.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage and (SCTH) announced the big news at an event held in Ad-Diriyah, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Riyadh.

Now before you make plans to visit the country, here’s what you need to know.

 

WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE SAUDI ARABIA TOURIST VISA?

Citizens from 49 countries will be able to apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa on arrival into Saudi Arabia. A dedicated online portal at visitsaudi.com has been launched and electronic kiosks are available at airports. Here is the list of the 49 countries eligible to apply:

USA

Canada

Kazakhstan

Singapore

Brunei

New Zealand

South Korea

Japan

Spain

Belgium

Malaysia

Austria

Cyprus

UK

Croatia

Estonia

Andorra

Denmark

Germany

Bulgaria

France

Hungary

Czech Republic

Holland

Italy

Finland

Ireland

Lithuania

Greece

Liechtenstein

Monaco

Iceland

Malta

Poland

Latvia

Norway

Russia

Luxembourg

Romania

Slovenia

Montenegro

Slovakia

Switzerland

Portugal

Sweden

Australia

San Marino

Ukraine

China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

 

DOCUMENTS YOU’LL NEED

According to gulfnews.com, for e-Visa and Visa on arrival you’ll need:

  • Passport, with a validity for more than 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia
  • Address of accommodation
  • Hard copy of the visa, although a soft copy is advised

 

For Consulate-approved visa

  • Passport, with a validity for more than 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Return ticket
  • Proof of employment
  • Bank statement
  • Supporting information includes: ID, home address, travel itinerary

 

HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY?

The visa is valid for one year with multiple entries and you can stay for up to three months per entry. If you overstay, the fee is SAR 100 for each day of overstay.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

You will need to pay about $117 plus VAT when applying for an e-visa or a visa on arrival.

 

ARRIVING THERE

Saudi Arabia has about 13 international airports such as:

  1. King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Riyadh
  2. King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) – Jeddah
  3. King Fahd International Airport (DMM) – Dammam
  4. Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) – Madinah
  5. Taif International Airport (TIF) – Taif
  6. Abha International Airport (AHB) – Abha
  7. Hail International Airport (HAS) – Ha’il
  8. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz InternationalAirport (GIZ) – Gazan
  9. Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz International Airport (ELQ) – Qassim
  10. Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (TUU) – Tabuk
  11. Prince Abdulmohsin Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (YNB) –Yanbu
  12. Al-Jouf International Airport (AJF) – Jouf
  13. Al-Ahsa International Airport (HOF) – Al Ahsa

 

WHAT TO EXPLORE IN SAUDI ARABIA

– Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a staggering 10,000 recorded sites of historical interest.

-Thirteen regions, each with a distinctive cultural history and culinary tradition.

-A contemporary culture scene that includes the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture in Dhahran, sculpture parks, art galleries, fashion shows, literary events and the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in March 2020.

-A surprisingly diverse range of landscapes, including the green mountains of Asir, the crystal waters of the Red Sea, the snow-covered winter plains of Tabuk and the shifting sands of the Empty Quarter.

-A number of new destinations under construction, including the futuristic city of NEOM, the Qiddiyah entertainment city near Riyadh and a range of luxury destinations by the Red Sea.

 

Source: PR Newswire, Gulfnews

Cover photo: @visitsaudi/Instagram