A view of the Cairo skyline in the night. Image Credit: File

Abu Dhabi: Saudis, along with nationals from 73 other countries, can now apply online to obtain an e-visa to visit Egypt, local media reported.

Egyptian authorities added on Wednesday 28 new nationalities to 46 others included in the online e-visa system.

Saudis can also obtain tourist visa upon arrival at Egyptian airports.

This comes as part of Egypt’s efforts to push more tourist traffic to the country by facilitating the procedures for obtaining a tourist visa.

Ghada Shalaby, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs, said the modernisation of the system coincided with the passage of a year since Egypt resumed the incoming tourism movement on July 1, 2020, pointing out that this update will contribute to encouraging tourists of different nationalities to visit Egypt.

The e-visa portal’s service is offered to tourists in eight languages.

The portal allows citizens of the listed countries on the website the ability to easily apply for a tourist visa. The e-visa can be downloaded by applicants and will be checked by authorities upon arrival in Egypt.

This portal also enables tourists to pay online using their debit or credit card.

One common complaint for incoming travellers in the past has been the inability to pay for a visa using their credit or debit cards at the airport, with payment in US dollar or Egyptian pound being required.

According to instructions on the portal, a traveller applying online through the portal will need to ensure they arrive in Egypt with the following: a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival, a print-out of their e-visa, a copy of their travel itinerary, a supporting letter (for business-related travel or family visits), details of their hotel bookings and places they intend to visit.

After dropping by 70 per cent due to COVID-19, tourism has witnessed a steady recovery since the pandemic. Since the start of 2021, Egypt has welcomed nearly 500,000 tourists a month.

With the vaccination campaign aimed at vaccinating tourism industry workers underway, Egypt is preparing and hoping for a full recovery of the tourism sector by the end of this year.