At the beginning of the month I wrote about how Saudi Arabia was planning on formally opening the country up to tourists, and the full details of that have now been revealed.
Saudi Arabia E-Visa Applications
Starting tomorrow (Saturday, September 28, 2019), Saudi Arabia will start accepting e-visa applications online for visitors from select countries. We don’t yet know exactly what the application will look like, though it’s said that it will take just a few minutes to complete.
This is part of Saudi Arabia hoping to greatly increase tourism over the coming years, as they’re hoping that by 2030 they’ll have 30 million international visitors annually, and that tourism will contribute 10% towards their GDP. While the country has a fair number of religious visitors currently, they’re hoping to open the country to other types of visitors as well.
How Much Does Saudi Arabia Charge For E-Visas?
A Saudi tourist e-visa will cost 440 Saudi Riyal, or about $117.
What Countries Are Eligible For Saudi Arabia E-Visas?
Passport holders from a total of 49 countries are eligible for Saudi tourist visas.
In the Americas, the following countries are eligible:
- United States
In Asia, the following countries are eligible:
- China (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
- South Korea
In Oceania, the following countries are eligible:
- New Zealand
In Europe, the following countries are eligible:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
How Long Is A Saudi Arabia E-Visa Valid For?
Saudi Arabia tourist visas will be valid for 12 months and for multiple entries. Visitors can stay for up to 90 days per visit, and no longer than 180 days total in one year.
Saudi Arabia Relaxing Dress Code For Women
For the first time ever, women visiting Saudi Arabia won’t have to wear the traditional abaya, though the country is still asking women to dress modestly.
Saudi Arabia Fascinates Me
Saudi Arabia has been talking for years about issuing tourist visas, but the program kept getting pushed back. So it’s interesting to see this finally happen.
Obviously I take huge issue with many of Saudi Arabia’s policies. Furthermore, between the jailing at the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh and Khashoggi’s death, Saudi Arabia has an uphill battle ahead of them in terms of convincing people to visit.
Even many of us who were previously intrigued by the prospect of visiting Saudi Arabia are thinking twice at this point.
It used to be that I was interested in visiting Saudi Arabia because I think just about everywhere is worth seeing, even if they have laws I strongly disagree with. I also largely refused to draw lines with visiting destinations, since it’s a slippery slope.
Nowadays I’m a bit different, and I do try to draw more lines in these regards.
Saudi Arabia is no doubt a country with a unique culture and with some great natural beauty, and is even home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites,
But I’m not sure I’m quite ready to visit…
Anyone planning to visit Saudi Arabia now that they’re going to issue tourist visas?