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.


Ambassador Khalid meets Saudi soldiers receiving treatment in US

Updated 23 February 2019
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Ambassador Khalid meets Saudi soldiers receiving treatment in US

  • Prince Khalid bin Salman met with Saudi soldiers who were being treated for injuries in the US
  • The Saudi ambassador praised the soldiers as “heros” for defending the Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, met on Saturday with Saudi soldiers who were being treated for injuries in the US.

The Saudi ambassador praised the soldiers as “heros” for defending the Kingdom against the “Iran backed Houthi terrorist.”

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab coalition fighting the Houthi militia, who overthrew the democratically elected, internationally recognized government of Yemen in 2014.

During the Yemen conflict, the militia has targeted Saudi Arabia using ballistic missiles, which United Nations investigations have found to have been manufactured by Iran.