An official of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has informed recently that a woman who is twenty-five or above could travel to Saudi Arabia alone on the granted tourist visa.
However, women who are not of an age that is of twenty-five years must be accompanied by some family member.
Director General of the Commission—Omar Al-Mubarak said that the tourist visa would be a single-entry visa, with validity up to thirty days at max. This visa is a new category defined among the already present visa categories in the Kingdom. This visa category is different from the work, Hajj, Umrah and Visit visas.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage informed that the tourist visas would be introduced from the first quarter of the present year that is 2018.
Al-Mubarak while talking to Arab News mentioned that all the executive rules and regulations for the tourist visas have been sorted and finalized. The commission’s Information Technology (IT) department is presently engaged with the making of an electronic system for issuing the tourist visas, coordinating with the officials from the National Information Centre and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2008-2010 was the trial period for testing the implementation of the tourist visa system. During that span more than thirty-two thousand tourists visited Saudi Arab. Their respective visa procedures were provided by the tour operators acknowledged by the SCTH.
The Tourism Visa introduction is an initiative to boost the tourism sector and heritage services and facilities of the Kingdom. It is meant to rebuild the former tourist visa system so that the visitors could visit Saudi Arabia to explore new destinations.
The objective of this step is to create more job openings for the residents and to have more foreign tourism other than just the seasonal international tourism on religious basis while the Hajj-Umrah season.
This initiative is among the many plans under the National Transformation Program 2020 and abides with the structure of the commission’s attempts for acquiring the Vision 2030—which gives significant attention to the tourism sector.