If you’ve heard Saudi Arabia to be the next destination spot after the rest of the GCC countries, then you’ve heard it right.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is opening up to tourism and has a new approach of attracting tourists towards it. Since centuries, it has been a pilgrimage destination for millions of Muslims all over the world; but now with easier and liberal rules will bring in more travelers for various other tourism purposes. The younger, the unaccompanied women will also be able to visit the country as tourists.
This mainstream tourism is one of the recent developments that Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earlier allowed the entry for British nationalities, about 20 years ago. Women under the age of 40 were compulsorily to be accompanied by their husband or brother. Earlier the visas were only issued for pilgrimages, business travelers or mere family visits.
Saudi Arabia now seizes to capture the tourism market and reduce its reliance in the oil based industries. It is likely to attract around 30 Million tourists by 2030. Restrictions are likely to be at an ease to attract visitors with the lowest age of a women to enter, being 25 years of age. The women will be able to obtain a 30-days single entry tourist visa without being accompanied by any male from her first family. However, applicants planning to come to Saudi Arabia must have an authorization letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Saudi Arabia. The applicant also requires a sponsor in the Kingdom.
Prospective tourists with an Israeli passport, or anyone who has an Israeli stamp on their passport may be denied an entry.
What does Saudi Arabia have to offer?
Something known as A Six Flags theme park is expected to open its arms in the city of Riyadh by the year 2021 as a part of the entertainment city that is being built for the same purpose. There will also be a New Red Sea resort that is said to be built on the coastline of the Red Sea.
Something similar to Petra in Jordan, Saudi Arabia also has a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The Mada’in Saleh, without the crowds.
Not many are aware of the fact that the popular natural wonder of the world, famously known as the “Edge of the World”, the real name being “Jebel Fihrayn” is located in Riyadh and is one of the stunning viewpoints any traveler could have got.
The Northwest of the Kingdom is to build a high-tech city of Neom which will be located in Tabuk and the first phrase of this city is said to be completed by 2025.
Another milestone to be achieved by the Gulf Countries is the Jeddah Tower to be built in Saudi Arabia that will be completed in by the year 2020 and is said to surpass The Burj Khalifa as the next tallest building of the world.
The Visa Process
The guidelines are still to be confirmed by the Ministry with regards to the issuance of the tourist visa. It’s more likely to be issued via only the registered tour operators.