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Saudi Arabia Wants You to Come Visit

Saudi Arabia Wants You to Come Visit
Anya Kartashova

Saudi Arabia, a country that has been notoriously difficult to visit as a tourist, begins offering eVisas to citizens of 49 countries starting Sept. 28 in an effort to decrease its financial dependency on oil.

International visitors from eligible countries can obtain the required documentation for traveling to the Middle Eastern country via the eVisa portal. Simply register on the website, fill out the application, pay the fee of 440 Saudi Riyal (about $117) and get your online visa.

Countries Whose Citizens Are Eligible for a Saudi eVisa

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Other Details of the Saudi eVisa

Once issued, a Saudi eVisa is valid for 12 months but is limited to stays of up to 180 days per year (no longer than 90 consecutive days per visit).

The country will also loosen up its strict dress code for female travelers. As a woman, you won’t have to cover your entire body with a traditional abaya, but still, it’s recommended to dress modestly as much as possible out of respect for the local culture.

Is Saudi Arabia Safe to Visit?

The United States Department of State lists a Level 2 travel advisory for Saudi Arabia and recommends to exercise caution and avoid going within 50 miles of Yemen “due to terrorism and armed conflict.”

To put things in perspective, the Department of State lists similar advisories to dozens of popular destinations, such as Italy, Mexico, and Turks and Caicos.

Why Visit Saudi Arabia?

Travel is quite personal, and only you can answer that question. However, if you’re into culture and archeology, Saudi Arabia is home to five cultural UNESCO heritage sites (all recognized between 2008 and 2018). It’s an intriguing destination for many, mostly because it was closed to many, short of pilgrims and business travelers, and being one of the first tourists in the country could be an interesting experience.

View Comments (6)

6 Comments

  1. tvhead

    September 27, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I have traveled to RSA several times for business, and as a US passport holder, it required a visa in the past. So this is welcome, but still expensive. I”m male, so I had no issues. But I have a work colleague who is female and she has never been able to obtain a business visa because her husband was not traveling with her. Do you know if under this new, more ‘relaxed’ program if there women will be allowed entry without the ‘chaperone’ of husband or male family member?

  2. o mikros

    September 28, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Tvhead, I assume you mean “KSA”, i.e. the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? RSA is the Republic of South Africa.

  3. AnyaK

    September 28, 2019 at 8:05 am

    @tvhead: Solo female travelers won’t have to be accompanied by a male companion.

  4. shefgab

    September 28, 2019 at 10:16 am

    $117 visa fee isn’t going to be encouraging many people to go. I wonder why they’ve made it so expensive

  5. MaxVO

    MaxVO

    September 28, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Negative $117 hardly feels like a good incentive. KSA needs to try harder.

  6. skidooman

    September 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Don’t want to go, if only in solidarity of their women.

    Many other countries that treat their 50% of population that is female better and more deserving of my hard earned money.

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