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Economy

Saudi Arabia launches e-tourist visa, opens to foreign holidaymakers

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Visas are now available online, on arrival or at Saudi diplomatic missions for about $120 including a health insurance fee.

Sunday 29, September 2019 BY KUDAKWASHE MUZORIWA

Saudi Arabia has opened its doors to foreign tourists, launching a new visa for 49 countries and appealing to foreign companies to invest in a sector which is expected to contribute 10 per cent of gross domestic product by 2030, according to local newswire, Saudi Press Agency.

Ahmad Al-Khateeb, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), said that since the launch of Vision 2030, the Kingdom is working hard to become a global tourist destination, which is coinciding with the launch of major tourism projects and the adoption of incentive regulations for investment in the tourism sector.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious plans to develop new industries and do away with the reliance on oil as the world’s top oil exporter diversify its economy including introducing previously banned entertainment.

The Kingdom seeks to be one of the top five countries receiving foreign tourists from all over the world by 2030, with revenues of up to 10 per cent instead of the current three per cent of gross national income.

Saudi Arabia also expects the number of jobs in the sector of tourism to reach 1,6 million jobs compared to just 600,000 jobs right now.

Similarly, the Interior Ministry announced that it would issue fines for 19 offences related to public decency such as immodest dress and public displays of affection.

TAGS : Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Vision 2030

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