Saudi Arabia: In a move to boost tourism and make its heritage accessible to more people, Saudi Arabia has announced that all citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can apply for tourist visas electronically, regardless of their profession.
The GCC is a group of Gulf countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, visitors holding tourist visas will be allowed to visit various areas of Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah, a lesser pilgrimage to Mecca.
#SaudiArabia visa application is now simpler, more convenient and straightforward for residents of GCC states, regardless of their profession. Apply now https://t.co/wyvezLCitl pic.twitter.com/GrzwhpzrE5— Ahmed Al Khateeb أحمد الخطيب (@AhmedAlKhateeb) March 9, 2023
The Saudi Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khatib, stated that this initiative aims to simplify and make visa applications more convenient for GCC residents. He added, “It does not matter what profession the applicant belongs to.”
GCC residents can now apply for an electronic tourist visa through the “Visit Saudi” platform. The visa allows direct entry into the Kingdom, provided that the visitor’s passport is valid for at least six months, and the residence permit is valid for at least three months.
However, during the Haj season, Umrah will not be allowed with this visa.
The move to allow GCC residents of any profession to visit Saudi Arabia electronically is expected to boost tourism and promote cultural exchange between the Gulf countries.