Saudi tourist visas expanded under agency’s review

A woman takes a selfie as she stands next to a camel during King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rimah Governorate, north-east of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this January 19, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 02 April 2018

Saudi tourist visas expanded under agency’s review

RIYADH: A review of tourist visa regulations has been completed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), together with the interior and foreign ministries.
The SCTH said in a statement that it reviewed the regulations with relevant government institutions, investors and workers in tourism and transport, and groups of service providers through a series of intensive meetings and workshops.
The new visa regulations had been submitted to the relevant government authorities for approval, it said.
Visa requirements had been arranged with government and private agencies, and an integrated electronic system developed under the supervision of a team headed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The SCTH acted on the basis of a national tourism development strategy, approved in 2005, to develop and expand tourist visas that previously had been granted on a limited scale.
The National Transformation Program 2020 also adopted the tourist visa as one of the “initiatives of high economic feasibility.”
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president and chairman of the board of the SCTH, told AFP earlier this year that the Kingdom had affirmed its commitment to local values and culture — the most important attractions as it strives to attract tourists.
“The Kingdom is the cradle of Islam and the direction toward which all Muslims face in their prayers, and it has the honor to serve them, leaning on a legacy of civilizational, natural, cultural and tourist wealth and generous and welcoming people,” he said.


Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

Updated 12 December 2019

Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

JEDDAH: Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the governor of Makkah, officially opened the fifth edition of the Jeddah International Book Fair on Wednesday.

The prince toured the event, at which 400 publishing houses from 40 countries are taking part, and honored three renowned figures from the local literature and media scenes: Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem, the former editor in chief of Okaz newspaper; writer Abdel Fattah Abu Madian; and writer Meshaal bin Muhammad Al-Sudairy.

Prince Mishaal bin Majed, the governor of Jeddah and chairman of the exhibition’s Higher Committee, thanked Price Khalid for his support of the fair since it was founded. He also expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their great support.

He added that the success of the event is the result of the hard work of a number of organizations. In particular, he wished the Ministry of Culture continued success in organizing the fair as part of its efforts to develop culture in the Kingdom as one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030.

Other VIP guests and dignitaries at the inauguration of the fair included Prince Badr bin Sultan, the deputy governor of Makkah; Prince Saud bin Abdullah, adviser to the governor of Makkah; and Prince Khalid bin Mishaal, deputy governor of Jeddah.

The book fair continues at Land of Events in South Abhur until Dec. 21.