Saudi Arabia makes major change to e-tourist visa

Saudi Arabia will now allow residents and citizens of Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) to enter the country via the e-tourist visa without consideration of occupation.

This new development was announced by the Kingdom’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, on his Twitter page.

“[The Saudi e-tourist] visa application is now simpler, more convenient, and straightforward for residents of GCC states, regardless of their profession,” Al-Khateeb tweeted.

“ Apply now.”

This is a major change to the Kingdom’s requirements for tourists from the GCC. Previously, only people who worked in select approved occupations — specified and stated on the Saudi government website — were allowed to apply for tourist visas.

The Saudi e-tourist visa allows GCC citizens to visit the Kingdom for tourism and religious reasons, including Umrah. The visa fees cost SR300 (about $80) (including health insurance) and the visa has single and multiple entry options which are valid for three months and one year respectively.

This new visa policy amendment is one of the efforts of the Saudi Arabian government to boost international tourism in the Kingdom. Earlier this week, it was revealed by the Saudi Tourism Authority that Saudi Arabia welcomed over 93 million international tourists in 2022.

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Umar Ali
I'm an adventurous traveler with an insatiable thirst for exploration. Whether it's wandering through winding alleys in bustling cities, trekking across rugged mountains, or lounging on a tropical beach, I am always seeking out new experiences and challenges.

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