Islamic Lifestyle 

Saudi Arabia starts receiving tourists on eVisas

| 02 October, 2019
 Staff Writer

Saudi Arabia's Department of Passports said it has started to receive tourists holding eVisas, reported state news agency SPA on Sunday.

The e-tourism visas are for citizens of forty-nine eligible countries that are allowed to obtain them through the new platform visa.visitsaudi.com, or through arrival points in Saudi Arabia. 

The visa allows tourists to enter Saudi Arabia multiple times in a year and stay in the Kingdom for a maximum of ninety days over the year. 

Eligible countries are mainly from Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, including three Muslim-majority countries Brunei, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan.

The move to open up the Kingdom to tourists is part of efforts to boost tourism revenue as the country seeks to shed its dependence on oil exports.

Last year Saudi Arabia started issuing temporary visas to visitors to attend sporting and cultural events.

In March the Kingdom started giving out visas linked to specific events organised for the Saudi Seasons 2019

According to a report by real estate firm Colliers in partnership with the Arabian Travel Market, international arrivals to the kingdom are expected to increase 5.6 per cent per year, rising from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million by 2023. These figures include umrah and haj pilgrims.

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