New post-Umrah tourist visas to be issued this quarter

Umra pilgrims in Madinah. (SPA)
Updated 07 January 2018
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New post-Umrah tourist visas to be issued this quarter

JEDDAH: The director of the Tourism and Heritage Authority in the Makkah region, Mohammed Al-Omari, told Arab News on Saturday that, “citizens from all the countries who have access to the Kingdom can obtain tourist visas.”
Al-Omari continued: “All Muslims from countries around the world can obtain a post-Umrah tourist visa, so when Umrah is finished they can become a tourist.” This is called the extended Umrah visa for post-Umrah tourism.
“Everyone will benefit from these visas as long as the conditions apply to them,” he added.
Umrah is a shorter version of Hajj and can be performed all year round.
The maximum period of visa validity is 30 days.
Asked when these tourism visas would be issued, Al-Omari answered: “Prince Sultan bin Salman, the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) said that the start of tourism visa issuance will be announced during the first quarter of 2018.”
Sixty-five countries will be allowed tourism visas in the first phase of the project, and the number will increase in the second phase.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to solidify its place as a tourist destination with mega projects such as the Red Sea island resorts and the Neom project on the Gulf of Aqaba.

What is MERS?
• MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus, which means it is a virus that is transmitted between animals and people.
• MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, it’s been reported in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and the US.
• Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported.
• Some laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection are reported as asymptomatic, meaning that they do not have any clinical symptoms, yet they are 
   positive for MERS following a laboratory test.
• Approximately 35% of reported patients with MERS have died.
 


Saudi Arabian Tourism and Heritage Authority registers 43 archaeological sites

Updated 24 min 12 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian Tourism and Heritage Authority registers 43 archaeological sites

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Tourism and Heritage Authority has registered 43 archaeological sites across the Kingdom during the section quarter of this year.
Among the registered sites are 26 locations in the holy city of Makkah, including Al-Hafaira in the governorate of Al-Taif, and two archaeological sites in the governorate of Al-Jamoom,
It also includes nine in the region of Assir, including a site in the city of Bel Qarn, in south Saudi Arabia, and a location at the Shefa Saad site and several others in Wadi Ne’am in the governorate of Tathleeth.
The Kingdom has announced the registration of 32 archaeological sites during the first quarter of 2018.
The authority has also launched established the national electronic register for the documentation of archaeological and historical sites in the Kingdom.
It allows recording their details electronically so that they can be protected and developed. Through this important national project, the Authority has managed to register 8268 archaeological sites so far in the various regions of the Kingdom.