24,000 visitors to Saudi Arabia within 10 days of new tourist visa system

24,000 foreign visitors entered Saudi Arabia within the first 10 days of the implementation of instant tourist visas at airports in the Kingdom, according to a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement. (SPA)
Updated 07 October 2019

24,000 visitors to Saudi Arabia within 10 days of new tourist visa system

  • The ministry revealed the number of visitors from the top 10 countries using the new system
  • New visa system also allows ease of access for Muslims to perform Umrah outside of the Hajj season

RIYADH: 24,000 foreign visitors entered Saudi Arabia within the first 10 days of the implementation of instant tourist visas at airports in the Kingdom, according to a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement on Monday.

The ministry revealed the number of visitors from the top 10 countries using the new system — with China topping the list, with the UK and the US in second and third respectively.

European nations France and Germany were also in the list, with Canada, Malaysia and Russia just behind the top three. Australia and Kazakhstan were in ninth and tenth place.

The new visa system also allows ease of access for Muslims to perform Umrah outside of the Hajj season without the need for a sponsor, as is the case with work permit visas.

Outside of religious journeys, the new visa does not exclude any visitor on religious grounds and the successful applicants can make multiple visits to the Kingdom within a 12 month period, provided each visit does not exceed 90 days.

The recently announced visa system was introduced in a bid to create one million jobs within the Kingdom, as well as targeting 100 million tourists by 2030 as part of the Vision 2030 program.


UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

Updated 29 min 42 sec ago

UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

  • Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches
  • She holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde

RIYADH: Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani as cultural attaché to the UK.

Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches by the Saudi Minister of Education Dr.Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheik earlier this month.

Ambassador Neil Crompton tweeted Thursday: “#Congratulations to Dr Fatani @FataniAmal for her appointment as Cultural Attaché to the #UK. Delighted she is a UK alumni herself. Wishing her the very best in her new role and looking forward to strengthening the people to people links between the UK and Saudi Arabia.”

Fatani holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde. She obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology and toxicology from the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (KSU), where she is currently an associate professor.

She has previously worked at the Ministry of Higher Education and KSU, and was among the first female pharmacy graduates in the Kingdom.

After receiving her doctorate she was appointed vice chair of the pharmacology and toxicology department. She is the first female dean of the nine scientific and medical colleges, and has worked with the rector, deputies, and deans of male colleges to build a unified strategic plan for gaining accreditation, a higher global ranking, and implementing best international practices in higher education.

Saudi Arabia and the UK have an important and long-standing relationship, strengthened through the strong individual connections that Saudis enjoy with the UK through their attendance at academic institutions. Hundreds of Saudi scholarship students have graduated from top UK educational institutions.

The two countries are key strategic partners in the Kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and have reaffirmed their commitment to building and developing trade and investment as well as achieving shared prosperity for their citizens.