Saudi Arabia Expands Visitor e-Visa to Eight Additional Countries 

Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travellers from eight newly-eligible countries. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travellers from eight newly-eligible countries. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Expands Visitor e-Visa to Eight Additional Countries 

Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travellers from eight newly-eligible countries. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travellers from eight newly-eligible countries. (SPA)

In a bid to make it easier than ever before to experience the authentic home of Arabia, Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travellers from eight newly-eligible countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, for leisure, business, and religious (Umrah only) travel.

Nationals of these countries can apply for a Saudi visitor visa ahead of their journey via the official e-visa portal.

The Kingdom is reimagining the tourism experience, with the famously warm and generous Saudi welcome, known as Hafawah, at the heart of its plans. The visitor e-visa is valid for an entire year, grants multiple entries, and permits a stay of up to 90 days. Visit Saudi offers an online trip planner for visitors to create custom itineraries with ease.

From visiting the Kingdom’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, snorkelling and diving in the Red Sea – one of the world's most spectacular undiscovered diving spots, wandering Taif's world-famous Rose Gardens, shopping like a local in Riyadh's Deira Souq, chartering the unknown on land in the lush, green Asir region and tasting Saudi Arabia’s diverse and delicious culinary scene, from fragrant Arabic dishes to internationally-renowned fine dining restaurants, there is something for everyone.

Since launching the e-visa program in 2019, Saudi Arabia has welcomed 93.5 million visits in 2022, a 93% increase compared to 2021, resulting in a tourism spend of SAR 185 billion (USD 49 billion). This rapid tourism growth is due to expanding visa initiatives, which now include 57 nations and two special administrative regions, compared to the initial 49 countries at the program's launch.

In 2022, Saudi Arabia extended regulations to provide a visitor e-visa to holders of valid Schengen, United Kingdom and United States of America visas that have been used to enter those countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia and to permanent residents of EU and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and the UK and US.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced the launch of the free 96-hour Stopover Visa, allowing passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours. Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA.

Travellers can use the Stopover Visa to explore the Kingdom and perform Umrah. Religious travellers can book flights through SAUDIA and Flynas and register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform.



Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern over Military Escalation in Yemen after Israeli Airstrikes

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern over Military Escalation in Yemen after Israeli Airstrikes

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia expressed its deep concern on Sunday over the latest military escalation in Yemen after the Israeli attacks in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni port of Hodeidah.
The statement stressed that these developments "exacerbate the current tension in the region”.
In a statement on X platform, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The Ministry is following with great concern the military escalation in Yemen following the Israeli attacks that targeted Hodeidah province on Saturday, July 20, 2024,” emphasizing that “these developments aggravate the current tension in the region and undermine ongoing efforts to end the war in Gaza”.
The ministry also called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to distance the region and its people from the dangers of war. It also called on the international community and active influential parties to fulfill their responsibilities to end conflicts in the region.
Moreover, the ministry affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's continued efforts to end the war on Gaza and affirmed its continuous support for peace efforts in Yemen to spare its people more suffering and achieve security and peace in the region.
On Sunday, Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense, affirmed that Saudi Arabia has no relation to or participation in the targeting of the Yemeni city of Hodeidah. 
He emphasized in a statement posted on the ministry's X platform account that Saudi Arabia will not allow its airspace to be violated from any direction.