Saudi tourist visa rules to be announced in 2 months

In this file photo, a foreign tourist listens to a Saudi guide near a Nabatean tombs complex in the desert archaeological site of Madain Saleh in Al Ula city, northwest of Riyadh. (AP)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Saudi tourist visa rules to be announced in 2 months

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) will announce details about tourist visas by the end of Q1 of the current fiscal, after the approval by the commission’s board of directors, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The SCTH pointed out that the news about details, requirements, and nationality specifications mentioned in the media are inaccurate and sometimes based on deliberations that have not yet been approved.
Preparations for launching the tourist visa, according to the SCTH, continue to be carried out in full coordination with the ministries of interior and foreign affairs.
The two ministries are working together with the SCTH to lay down the standards that form the foundation on which the issuance of the tourist visa regulations will be based, according to the Tourism Law issued by a royal decree on 9/1/1438 H.
A statement by the SCTH confirmed that the requirements, regulations, and relevant details for tourist visas will be published in the official gazette at the end of Q1 of 2018 for implementation. All details will also be available on the SCTH’s official website.
Earlier in January, the director of the Tourism and Heritage Authority in the Makkah region, Mohammed Al-Omari, told Arab News: “Citizens from all the countries who have access to the Kingdom can obtain tourist visas.”
Al-Omari added: “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.”
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, boost the tourism sector, and develop tourism and heritage services and facilities in the Kingdom.
These updates come after previous reports that indicated that women over the age of 25 do not require a chaperone to issue a tourist visa when visiting the kingdom.


KSRelief celebrates rehabilitation of 27 child soldiers in Yemen  

Updated 20 August 2018
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KSRelief celebrates rehabilitation of 27 child soldiers in Yemen  

MARIB, Yemen: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) held the closing ceremony of the second session of its fifth and sixth phases of the rehabilitation project of child soldiers in Yemen.

The center celebrated the rehabilitation of 27 children who were recruited by Houthi militias in Yemen from different cities across the war-torn nation. 

The child soldiers presented works of creativity in segments during the ceremony. Their presentations reflected how much they have changed during the process of rehabilitation, which lasted for an entire month. 

An exhibition also showed pictures of the social and psychological process they underwent to return to their normal lives, which would facilitate their integration back into the society. 

Marib’s deputy governor, Abed Rabbu Muftah, said the only place these children belong to is schools, as he thanked KSRelief for this humanitarian project, which aims to psychologically and educationally rehabilitate recruited and war-affected children in Yemen.