Saudi Arabia to Grant Tourist Visas to Non-Muslims, but With Some Conditions
Thanks to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, there will now be tourist visas for non-Muslims to visit the Arab sovereign state.
| Published: March 14, 2018 12:39 PM IST
Published: March 14, 2018 12:39 PM IST | Updated: March 14, 2018 12:39 PM IST
Aerial view of skyline of Mecca holy city in Saudi Arabia
The desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a number of amazing tourist attractions. While most popular among them are religious sites like the Haj pilgrimage spots of Mecca and Medina, there are other places in the sovereign Arab state known for their historic significance. These Destinations include Jeddah, Riyadh and the ancient city of Mada’in Saleh. With that in mind, , Saudi Arabia is planning to issue tourist visas to non-Muslim tourists. This will be the first time that the Saudi kingdom will issue visas specifically for tourism. The condition though is that Non-Muslim travelers will not be allowed to visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. ALSO SEE These Archaelogical Sites in Saudi Arabia Show the Oldest Depictions of Domestic Dogs
Bookings for the tourist visas would need to be made through a registered tour operator. Minimum number of guests required for the tourist visa is 4. Visa Attestation will need to be done by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. Another condition for women travelers is that those below 25 years of age will need a “companion” in order to enter Saudi Arabia. Its a prerequisite for them to apply for the tourist visa. Additionally, it is common knowledge that women need to wear headscarves in accordance with the country’s conservative laws and stay with the group during the visit.
The new tourism reforms and change in rules, especially the relaxation of restrictions on women, have been initiated by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. These new provisions are likely to add to the tourism of this marvellous country that has allured people from all over the world for ages.