In a bid to make it easier for travelers to explore the authentic home of Arabia, Saudi Arabia is now offering visitor e-visas to those from eight new countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These visas can be used for leisure, business, and religious (Umrah) travel.
Nationals of these countries can apply for the Saudi visitor visa ahead of their journey through the official e-visa portal at visitsaudi.com/en/travel-regulations.
Saudi Arabia is reimaging 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 one year, grants multiple entries, and allows a stay of up to 90 days. Visit Saudi also offers an online trip planner for visitors to easily craft custom itineraries.
From visiting Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, snorkeling and diving in Saudi’s Red Sea – one of the world’s most stunning undiscovered diving spots, exploring Taif’s world-renowned 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’s diverse and delicious cuisine from fragrant Arabic dishes to internationally-renowned fine dining restaurants, there is something for everyone.
Since launching the e-visa program in 2019, Saudi has seen 93.5 million visits in 2022, a 93% increase from 2021, resulting in a tourism spend of SAR185 billion (USD49 billion). This rapid growth in tourism is due to the 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 extended regulations to provide a visitor e-visa to those with 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 GCC countries, and the United Kingdom and United States of America.
And earlier this year, Saudi 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 are eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA. Travelers can use the Stopover Visa to explore Saudi and perform Umrah. Religious travelers can book flights through SAUDIA and Flynas, and register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform.