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Planes preparing for take off at Riyadh King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Riyadh airport is home port for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Dubai: 18,680 Saudi citizens, including men and women, left the Kingdom via land borders and airports within 36 hours after the ban on international travel was lifted on May 17, local media reported.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the UAE was the top destination for those who traveled via air, followed by Egypt, Qatar, the US, and the UK. Meanwhile, 5,717 citizens departed for the neighbouring countries via land border crossings.

A total of 3,362 used the King Fahd Causeway to travel to Bahrain while 689 left for the UAE through the Al Batha border crossing. As many as 673 Saudis passed through the Al Haditha checkpoint to reach Jordan while 324 departed for Qatar crossing the Salwa checkpoint and 270 went to Kuwait using the Khafji border crossing.

Immunized citizens

Saudi Arabia opened its land, sea and air borders on May 17, allowing all immunized citizens to travel outside the Kingdom.

Last Sunday, Saudi Arabia warned citizens against traveling to 13 countries without permission due to security circumstances and the instability in a number of countries, while the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of new variant strains of the virus in some other countries.

The countries that Saudi citizens have been advised against visiting are the following: Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Congo, India, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen.