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Saudi Arabia has opened its doors to tourists, courtesy of a new visa regime

Saudi Arabia has opened its doors to tourists, courtesy of a new visa regime

Here's everything you need to know

Text: Meeran Mekkaoui


Image: Instagram

In yet another historic move for Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom is officially opening its doors to tourists...

From hosting the world's richest horse race to lifting its requirements on women's travels, we've *almost* become used to Saudi Arabia making the headlines. The Kingdom is ultimately embracing equality and giving its residents a modern, yet cultural, experience, and just overnight, Saudi Arabia announced that it would be giving the same opportunity to tourists alike.

For the first time ever, the country has officially opened its doors to tourists with a new visa regime that will extend to 49 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Allowing more tourists to explore Saudi Arabia's heritage sites (including some that have made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list), visitors will be able to obtain 90-day, multiple entry visas.

With an aim to diversify the country's economy (the move is expected to create one million new jobs for the Kingdom by 2030), the new visa regime also marks yet another history milestone in creating an authentic cultural experience. Here's what you need to know:

- What is the cost of the Saudi tourism visa?

The visa will cost SAR 440 (Dhs431), including VAT.

- Where can you apply for the visa?

There's a dedicated online portal, visitsaudi.com, where tourists will be able to apply online for an e-Visa or gain a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia.

- How long is it valid for?

The tourist visa allows for a stay of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend up to 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year with multiple entries.

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