New rules for Saudi tourist visas will be announced by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage by the end of the first quarter, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The announcement will come after approval by the commission’s board of directors, with the SCTH saying that existing information about forthcoming visa rules – including requirements and nationality specification – has been wrongly detailed by the media.
The ministries of interior and foreign affairs are working on the launch of the tourist visa with the SCTH, said SPA, laying down the standards that will form the foundations on which issuance of the visa regulations will be based. A statement by the SCTH added that the requirements, regulations, and relevant details about the visas will be published in the official gazette at the end of Q1 2018 for implementation. All details will also be on the SCTH’s official website.
The director of the Tourism and Heritage Authority in the Makkah region, Mohammed Al Omari, had previously told local newspaper Arab News that “citizens from all the countries who have access to the kingdom can obtain tourist visas.” adding that “all Muslims from countries around the world can obtain a post-Umrah tourist visa, so when Umrah is finished they can become a tourist”.
The move to introduce tourism visas aims to boost the tourism sector and develop tourism and heritage services and facilities across Saudi Arabia.