The Saudi government has reopened the visa-on-arrival scheme for holders of valid visas to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen area.
The move comes two weeks after Saudi Arabia abolished all Covid-19-related entry restrictions, restoring the country’s openness to pre-pandemic levels.
Citizens of any country holding one of the three visas and flying with one of the national airlines – Saudi, Flynas, or Flyadeal – can now obtain a 12-month tourism visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia without having to apply in advance.
To qualify for a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia, visitors with a valid US, UK, or Schengen visa must have used it at least once to enter the issuing country or region.
Visitors will also require Covid-19 insurance, which may be purchased at any international airport.
Citizens of any country eligible for the e-visa programme, which began in 2019, may acquire a visa on arrival, regardless of the airline with which they are flying.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority, Ahmed Al Khateeb, said, “Restoring the visa-on-arrival program marks the final step in returning Saudi to a pre-pandemic level of openness and makes it one of the most accessible destinations in the world for leisure, business and religious travel.”
He added “This decision by the government will further support the many thousands of people who depend on tourism for their livelihoods while welcoming the world back to the destination with the warm hospitality for which the Saudi people are renowned.”
Saudi Arabia opened its gates to international leisure travellers in September 2019, less than six months before the kingdom was forced to closed its borders due to Covid-19.
The country’s tourism strategy had turned its focus on increasing domestic tourism, with the inauguration of 11 new destinations and the creation of over 270 new tourism packages.
– India’s new age travel digital media