Saudi Arabia reopens visa-on-arrival programme

The Saudi Arabian government has reopened the visa-on-arrival programme, which means British citizens can apply for a tourist visa when they arrive at the airport.

The move comes two weeks after the country lifted all Covid-related entry restrictions and returns Saudi to pre-pandemic levels of openness.

British citizens can receive a 12-month tourism visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia regardless of the airline they are travelling with.

Visitors will also need to purchase Covid-19 insurance, which they can do at any of Saudi Arabia’s international airports.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, tourism minister and chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “Restoring the visa-on-arrival programme marks the final step in returning Saudi to a pre-pandemic level of openness and makes it one of the most accessible destinations in the world for leisure, business and religious travel.

“This decision by the government will further support the many thousands of people who depend on tourism for their livelihoods while welcoming the world back to the destination with the warm hospitality for which the Saudi people are renowned.”

On March 6, Saudi Arabia announced the lifting of all Covid travel restrictions, so visitors no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a PCR test to enter.

Masks are required in enclosed public places only.

The e-visa programme was introduced in 2019 as the kingdom opened up to international leisure travellers in September 2019 – less than six months before its borders were closed due to the pandemic.

Al Khateeb added: “Saudi has emerged from the pandemic with a burgeoning leisure and entertainment sector that includes some of the largest events in the world as well as a compelling cultural tourism offer and an increasing number of local companies dedicated to tourism.”

Pictured: AlUla by Visit Saudi.

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