Now, women over 25 years old are allowed a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia without having to be accompanied with a chaperone or a family member, stated a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
“The tourist visa will be a single-entry visa valid for a maximum of 30 days. This visa is added to those currently available in the Kingdom. It is independent of work, visit, Hajj, and Umrah visas,” Omar Al-Mubarak, Director General of the Commission’s Licensing Department, said. The SCTH articulated that the tourism visa issuance’s beginning date would be declared in the first quarter of 2018 without specifying a certain date.
Al-Mubarak revealed to Arab News that “the executive regulations for tourist visas have been finalized. The commission’s IT department is currently building an electronic system for the issuance of tourist visas, coordinating with representatives of the National Information Center and the Foreign Ministry.”
Throughout the trial period of applying the tourist visa system, between 2008 and 2010, over 32,000 tourists visited Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Shoura Council member Jamal Al Fakhri stated that last October, the Kingdom agreed to plan the process of issuing tourist visas in order to boost tourism, and attract more visitors to the Kingdom, as well as creating more job opportunities. The initiative is part of Vision 2030, which has the tourism industry as one of its top priorities.