Saudi Arabia steps up tourism push with new visas

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Saudi embassies and consulates will be able to issue the visas within 24 hours of receiving a request
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The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis. (SPA)
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The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis. (SPA)
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Visitors walk outside the tombs at the Madain Saleh antiquities site, al-Ula, Saudi Arabia February 10, 2019. (REUTERS)
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The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis. (SPA)
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The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis. (SPA)
Updated 03 March 2019

Saudi Arabia steps up tourism push with new visas

  • The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis

RIYADH: Tourists will be offered special “event” visas to visit Saudi Arabia as part of plans by the Kingdom to become a major global entertainment destination.
The new one-off visas will allow foreign visitors to choose from the growing number of sporting, entertainment and business attractions available in the country.
Announcing the new visa category on Thursday, the Saudi Cabinet said embassies and consulates will be able to issue the visas within 24 hours of receiving a request.
Under the visa upgrade, the Kingdom’s General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority will provide the Foreign Affairs Ministry and state security with details of events at least two months beforehand. The details will then be included in the visa system.
Saudi Arabia is investing billions of dollars in sports and entertainment as it seeks to reform and diversify its economy, part of a wide-ranging Vision 2030 program introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis.
Formula E motor racing, WWE wrestling and world title boxing events have also been added to the country’s sporting calendar in the past 12 months.
Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said earlier this year that infrastructure investments in the next decade would reach SR240 billion ($64 billion) and would contribute SR18 billion to the country’s economy and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030.


Saudi Arabia reports 29 COVID-19 deaths, 455 new cases

Updated 40 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reports 29 COVID-19 deaths, 455 new cases

  • 841 patients have recovered from the virus over the past 24

RIYADH: Saudi health authorities announced 29 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, taking the Kingdom’s death toll from the virus to 4,712.
A total of 455 new cases were also announced, with 52 in Jeddah, 48 in Madinah, 35 in Makkah, 33 in the capital Riyadh and 32 in Hafouf, among the cities with the highest count. 
The total number of confirmed cases in the Kingdom has reached 333,648, with 11,090 active cases and 1,034 in critical condition. 

According to the health ministry, 841 patients have recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 317,846. 
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 33.14 million people globally and the death toll has reached 997,236.