The option will be available for citizens of the Schengen area, the US and seven other countries
Travelling to Saudi Arabia will soon be easier as the Gulf country has decided to open e-visa to its visitors.
The new measure is an attempt by relevant Saudi authorities to boost the country’s travel sectors, as the majority of tourists nowadays consists of religious travellers.
However, the program is not new to the country. The introduction of the e-visa follows a pilot project launched for the event of Formula E, a race of electric-powered cars, that took place in Riyadh this year.
Visitors coming for the race from 80 countries overall were allowed to obtain an electronic visa for the price of $170. Its holders could travel throughout the whole desert country except for the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
“This process was limited to the Formula E. Usually if you apply for a visa it will take some time to get it and you will have to do it through the embassy,” Prince Abdul Aziz, member of the Royal House of Saudi, said regarding the e-visa.
“We did it [the e-visa] hand in hand with the ministry of foreign affairs. We went from a very complicated process to a very simple one.”
The new e-visa will be available to citizens of the 26 countries of the Schengen zone, as well as to travellers from the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.
Saudi authorities haven’t yet revealed further details connected to the e-visa requirements, such as the price, validity, or whether it permits the visitor to enter the holy Arabian cities or not.