Saudi Arabia To Begin Issuing Tourist Visas This Month

Saudi Arabia will begin issuing tourist visas on 27 September, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Tuesday, as the kingdom looks to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil and gas.

The visas will be available for citizens of 51 countries for a fee of SAR440 ($117) and will have a 90-day duration, the newspaper said. Tourists can apply for the visas online or upon arrival, it said.

Saudi Arabia has been loosening social restrictions since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a plan to overhaul the economy to reduce its reliance on oil. Concerts, dance shows and film screenings have attracted thousands of people over the last year.

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The kingdom is building major tourism projects and transforming its Red Sea coastline to bring in holiday-makers. It’s also developing a cultural, sports and entertainment city and a luxury destination on its northwest coast.

Authorities have announced plans to restrict certain hospitality jobs for its own citizens by the end of the year.

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