Saudi Arabia has been a little difficult when it comes to visa processing. Well, it is good news for everyone because Saudi Arabia just made their visa rules a lot easier. The new rules will only be applicable for group tours initially. The government of Saudi Arabia is currently testing the visa through government approved tour operators. As per the current visa rules, Saudi Arabia gives a two week visa. It is only given to those traveling for business, visiting relatives, or for pilgrimage. It is difficult to obtain and very pricey.
The government is planning to open a new visa for travelers who want to visit the country for leisure. Even though the visa issued currently is pricey, Saudi Arabia gets around 3.4 million Muslim visitors during the annual Hajj visit. Saudi Arabia currently only attracts 200,000 non-pilgrim visitors and wants to increase it to 1.5 million by 2020. Saudi Arabia’s economy currently depends on oil but with more tourists, the pressure reduces.
There are also talks about creating a 34,000 square km hotel complex between Umluf and Alwajh. It is expected to complete by 2021. The complex will consist of hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, and luxury apartment. It will also have ar, land, and sea transport system. After completion the project will contribute 3 billion pounds to Saudi Arabia’s economy and generate 35,000 jobs.
Making rules less strict
Talks are going on to lift the alcohol ban to attract western travelers. The new resort will have laws, rules, and regulations as per international standards. Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country known for its culture, desert, food, and the Red sea. Some fear that lifting the alcohol ban can turn it into another Dubai. However, there is another concern that is more important. Saudi Arabia and the foreigners have different views when it comes to women and homosexuality.