Saudi Arabia to introduce Tourist Visas from 2018

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that it will start issuing Tourist Visas to foreign nationals from 2018. As stated by the Head of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Natural Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the aim of the measure is to attract travelers to the nation. The decision has been made in pursuance of the country’s preparations to become a tourist destination and to reduce its economy’s reliance on oil exports, by identifying new sources of revenue.

Presently, foreign nationals arriving in Saudi Arabia are primarily restricted to resident workers and business immigrants, their dependents, and Islamic pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia is aiming to attract 30 million visitors per annum by 2030 as compared to the 18 million visitors recorded in 2016. The Government proposes to spend $47 billion on annual tourism by 2020.

Isha Kalwant Singh, Legal Intern

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Tourist Visa, Tourism, Economy, Revenue

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