No more tourist visa for Saudi Arabia

Decision angers tourism professionals. by ETN

By ETN on 04 September 2010 in News

Saudi Arabia has stopped granting of visas to those who wish to visit the kingdom only for tourism, Gulf News learnt on Monday.

The kingdom issued 6,000 tourist visas in 2008, which rose to 20,000 in 2009. Many people mainly come for Haj, Umrah or to visit Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) mosque in Madinah, issued

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) declined to comment on the decision but chairman of the consultative committee for organisers of tourist trips Prince Abdullah Bin Saud said this issue would be discussed with the president of the SCTA after Eid to find solutions to the hurdles impeding investment in the field of tourism.

He said the people working in the tourism sector had been angered by the SCTA's decision to stop issuing tourist visas.

"This decision will not help develop domestic tourism," he said.
Prince Abdullah noted a great leap in the number of people visiting Saudi Arabia as normal tourists during the past few years.

He said the number of tourist visas grew from 6,000 to 20,000 in just a year. "Officials in the SCTA should encourage this trend instead of halting the issuance of tourist visas," he said.

Meanwhile, large numbers of Muslims are pouring into Saudi Arabia through its land, sea and air inlets. The numbers are expected to greatly increase during the last ten days of Ramadan. Many Muslims prefer to perform Umrah during Ramadan and to spend the last 10 days of the fasting month in the kingdom.

The Haj terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport is receiving 95 daily Haj flights against 76 daily departures. The government and private sectors in the airport have all geared up to receive the incoming pilgrims.

According to airport sources, about 15,000 people arrive daily through the airport to perform Umrah while about 10,000 leave the kingdom daily after performing the rituals.

The sources said since the beginning of the Umrah season in February, more than 1.4 million people had entered the kingdom to perform Umrah.

They expect those who have arrived in the kingdom for Umrah to be leaving the country starting from Ramadan 28, which is the night on which the Imam of the Grand Mosque concludes reciting the Quran.

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Rajeev Kumar, Chicago

Its a damn shame. I was hoping to dive in the Red Sea and visit the ruins of Mada'in Saleh when I visit Jordan this year. I guess I will have to go somewhere else.

24 June, 2013

nazanin, germany

I have my parents living in Dammam city of KSA and I havent met them for 6 years. I cannot visit them because I have a breastfeeding baby with me who should accompany me. But the Saudi law does not allow me to enter Saudi land with my baby, i can only enter alone.. that too on special invitation from my fathers sponsor....what a strange rule and sad rule :-(

19 August, 2011

christine Leigh, Manchester UK

I am very sad I can not get a tourist visa to visit my friends in Ryiad Its a shame. I wonder how many other people have the same problem. If anyone out there knows how I can go to Ryiad just for two weeks please tell me.

2 July, 2011

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