Cairo: The Saudi Tourism Ministry has permitted rental of private properties for holidaymakers as the country is seeking to boost its tourism industry.
The ministry has licensed Gathern, an online holiday booking platform, to rent private properties for the first time in the kingdom, the Saudi news portal Sabq has reported.
Owners of villas, apartments, chalets, farms and camps can offer them for rental via the platform across Saudi Arabia, according to the report.
The platform is covering over 40 cities around the kingdom including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and Taif.
Last September, Saudi Arabia launched a new visa scheme aimed at attracting foreign holidaymakers to the kingdom as part of an ambitious plan to diversify its oil-reliant economy.
The instant tourist visa is obtained online or upon arrival at the Saudi airports. Foreigners obtaining the tourist visa can visit the kingdom multiple times within a one- year period with a maximum 90 days per visit.
Saudi Arabia envisages 100 million visitors annually by 2030 against 41 million at present.