Foreign tourists to be allowed into Saudi Arabia soon


Saudi Arabia
Tourists watch Saudi men perform a traditional folk dance at the cultural village of Rijal Almaa in the outskirts of Abha, Saudi Arabia. Via

Following the lifting of quarantine restrictions for some international arrivals, Saudi Arabia expects to reopen to foreign tourists shortly, according to a senior tourism official.

Non-citizens arriving from those countries who are completely vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from the disease will no longer be forced to quarantine in designated government hotels, the kingdom announced late Sunday.

According to the Saudi Tourism Authority, the new measures only apply to locals, government and business travelers, or those visiting friends and relatives, but not international visitors (STA).

According to Reuters, STA Chief Executive Fahd Hamidaddin said the kingdom would reopen to international visitors this year, with an announcement coming "very soon."

Hamidaddin remained tight-lipped about the exact date.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia liberalized its tourism industry, making it easier for foreigners to apply for tourist visas to the country, which had previously been relatively inaccessible to outsiders.

According to Hamidaddin, the kingdom is still aiming for 100 million annual visits by 2030, up from about 40 million before the pandemic. It was also still aiming for tourism to account for 10% of GDP by 2030, up from 3% now, he said.

Publish : 2021-05-17 16:02:00

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