Women above 25 to be allowed Saudi tourist visas; no ‘chaperon’ required

The aim of the move is to boost the tourism sector. (AN photo)
Updated 12 January 2018
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Women above 25 to be allowed Saudi tourist visas; no ‘chaperon’ required

JEDDAH: Women aged 25 and over can be granted a tourist visa to go to Saudi Arabia alone, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has said. However, women under 25 must be accompanied by a family member.
Omar Al-Mubarak, director general of the commission’s licensing department, said: “The tourist visa will be a single-entry visa, and valid for 30 days maximum. This visa is added to those currently available in the Kingdom. It is independent of work, visit, Hajj and Umrah visas.”
The SCTH recently said that the start of tourism visa issuance would be announced during the first quarter of 2018.
“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,” Al-Mubarak told Arab News.
During Saudi Arabia’s trial period of implementing the tourist visa system between 2008 and 2010, more than 32,000 tourists visited the Kingdom. Their visa procedures were facilitated by a number of tour operators licensed by the SCTH.
The Tourism Visa Initiative is meant to revive the previous tourist visa system to enable visitors to discover new destinations in the Kingdom, to boost the tourism sector and to develop tourism and heritage services and facilities in the Kingdom.
The aim is also to create more jobs for citizens and reduce the seasonal nature of international tourism with a religious basis during the Umrah and Hajj seasons.
The initiative is part of the National Transformation Program 2020, and falls within the framework of the commission’s efforts to achieve Vision 2030, which gives much attention to the tourism industry.


Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

Updated 18 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

  • The king hosted a lunch and "discussed regional developments" with Saleh
  • An Iraqi official said Saleh was on an overnight visit at the invitation of King Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received Iraq's new President Barham Saleh on Sunday on his first official visit to the Kingdom.

The king hosted a lunch and "discussed regional developments" with Saleh, the official Saudi Press Agency said, after the Iraqi leader's arrival in Riyadh following a visit to Iran.

An Iraqi official said Saleh was on an overnight visit at the invitation of King Salman.

There have been several visits in recent months between the two countries as Iraq seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia as it look to rebuild after the defeat of Daesh.

In October 2017, Saudi Arabian budget airline flynas made the first commercial flight from Riyadh to Baghdad in 27 years.

Saudi Arabia is keen to develop strong relations with Baghdad to counter Iranian influence in Iraq.