For the first time, visitors to Saudi Arabia are now able to avoid all the severe requirements that were once made it possible to happen. People who plan to attend the grand price race being held annually on December can now get a regular 14 days visa. The kingdom declared their ability to access not only to the race but to the whole country.
It is the latest in a series of new government initiatives that hope to encourage 30 million tourists a year by 2030. Saudi Arabia imposed restrictions on tourism in 2010 but in April this year reversed its approach and began issuing tourist visas again. However, it was still difficult to obtain unless the traveler was on a Alhadj and AlUmrah
The reason behind the sudden Tourism Drive
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the most keen on going higher with the country’s economy from only depending on oil, and that is the driving power behind Saudi Arabia’s new loyalty to tourism and leisure industry. His view may have been partly linked to the continuing success of this kind of industry in its neighbors, Dubai and Bahrain.
Speaking with the Associated Press earlier this year, he said: “[Saudi Arabia is open for those who are doing business, for people working in Saudi Arabia, investing in Saudi Arabia, and people visits for special purposes. Open to tourism again on a specific basis]
There are restrictions on visa availability for women, for beginner female Individual travelers over the age of 25 can obtain a tourist visa for 30 days, but persons under the age of 25 must be accompanied by a family member
Must tourist follow the Saudi Arabia’s tough laws?
The biggest obstacle for tourists who are considering vacationing in Saudi Arabia are the severe rules that are still in force that govern women, religion and dress, as well as complete alcohol bans. There is also international concern about the Kingdom’s human rights record.
The country’s Vision to 2030 envisages the development of the Red Sea, planned to begin in late 2019. The plan deals with making all the resorts bow down for the country laws along with international standards, which actually means that women are totally allowed to wear bikinis.
The Saudi investment fund called this “a magnificent luxury tourist destination created across 50 natural islands untouched by anyone.” The kingdom said the plans would include “the development of luxury hotels and condominiums, as well as all logistical infrastructures – including air, land and sea transport centers.” Fifty islands under development on the coast will be converted into luxury resorts and the first phase is planned to be completed by the end of 2022.
We are still not sure which strict Islamic rules will be exempted in resorts, but is likely to reflect the current situation in places like Dubai, where tourists are allowed to drink alcohol and wear swimsuits at some resorts, beaches and waterpark. But not public places.
Most tempting places to be visited once you hit Saudi Arabia
1) Mada’en Saleh:
An enlarged site for the Nabatian civilization south of Petra avoiding the crowds you will find in Jordan. It has 111 huge tombs, 94 with decorated facades, dating from the first century BC to the first century AD
2) Rock art:
An enlarged site for the Nabatian civilization south of Petra – without the crowds you will find in Jordan. It has 111 huge tombs, 94 with decorated facades, dating from the first century BC to the first century AD
3) Farasan Islands:
Saudi Arabia has tremendous beaches some of the best lie off the coast of Jazan, This archipelago is a development site.
4) Errub lkhali:
The largest continuous sand body in the world, covering an area of approximately 250,000 square miles. There are offered Flights.
The city’s most prominent landmarks include Souk Al-Alawi, Al-Taibat City Museum of World Civilizations, Corniche and Jeddah Tower – which is planned to be the tallest building in the world – and is still under construction
6) Assir Mountains
And that’s a mountainous area in southwest Saudi Arabia parallel to the Red Sea. It includes areas in Asir in Saudi Arabia, but generally includes areas close to the Yemeni border. The mountains cover nearly 100,000 square kilometers and consist of mountains, plains and valleys in the Arab highlands
Jazan has one of the largest mega projects in the Kingdom with important infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars. Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery with facilities attached to it on the Red Sea near Jazan and is due to be completed by late 2018.