The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has announced it will issue the first ever tourist visas in the Kingdom. The visas will cost 300 Riyals with an additional travel insurance cost of 140 Riyals. They will be issued from today to nationals of 49 countries from Europe, Asia and the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
While the dress code requirement for foreign women will be relaxed to remove the requirement for them to wear the abaya robe they will still have to wear ‘modest clothing’. Non-Muslims will also still not to be allowed to visit the Mecca and Madinah and the ban on alcohol will not be lifted.
Historically visas were only issued to pilgrims, business people and expatriate employees. They will be valid for 360 days from their issued date for stays of up to 90 days up to a maximum of 180 days annually.