Saudi Arabia Is Issuing Tourist Visas for the First Time Ever

  • 2019-10-07
  • Travel + Leisure

Get ready to explore the wonders of Arabia: for the first time in history, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to visitors from around the world.

Travelers can apply for a tourist visa at Saudi embassies and consulates, and citizens of 49 countries — including the United States, Canada, most of Europe, and Australia — can apply for an online e-visa or a visa on arrival.

Saudi Arabia is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, vibrant cities, and natural wonders like the Red Sea, the Asir Mountains, and the sprawling Empty Quarter, so there’s plenty to see and do. A recently released promotional video showcases the diverse terrain of Saudi Arabia, drawing comparisons to destinations as stunning and varied as Italy, the Caribbean, the Maldives, and the Colorado Rockies.

According to a release, efforts to attract tourists will be rolled out in two phases: from 2019 to 2022, the kingdom’s focus is on “attracting first-time visitors to discover Saudi” — and to do so, they’ll develop more than 20 new tourist sites during this period — while from 2022 on, the focus will shift to “enticing visitors to experience Saudi.”