Riyadh at night: Arab Gulf people are no longer Bedouins wasting their wealth in the West

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has moved to expand a recently-launched tourist visa system aimed at drawing holidaymakers to the kingdom.

Last month, Saudi authorities unveiled the tourist visa scheme allowing the nationals of 49 countries from Europe, Asia and America to apply for a multiple visa.

The instant tourist visa is obtainable online or upon arrival at the Saudi airports.

US, UK, Schengen visa holders

Now, nationals of other countries holding a valid commercial or a tourist visa issued by the US, the UK or the European Union’s Schengen visa are also eligible for a tourist visa online or upon arrival at Saudi airports, leading Arabic daily Okaz reported Saturday.

Other people wishing to enter Saudi Arabia can approach Saudi missions for a tourist visa provided they attach to their applications a return ticket, a residence booking in the kingdom, financial status and address in the home country, according to the report.

Foreigners obtaining the tourist visa can visit the kingdom multiple times within a one-year period with a maximum 90 days per visit.

The new system is part of the Vision 2030, an ambitious Saudi plan aimed at diversifying the country’s economy.