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Saudi Arabia opens tourist visas to U.S., European visa holders

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Saudi Arabia opens tourist visas to U.S., European visa holders



FILE PHOTO: Saudi dancers perform during the launch of a new tourist visa regime at a dinner at historic Diriyah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin/File Photo


RIYADH (Reuters) - Tourist visas for Saudi Arabia are now available online and on arrival to holidaymakers who already hold a visa from the United States, Britain or the EU's Schengen zone, expanding eligibility beyond an initial list of 49 countries.


The conservative Muslim kingdom, relatively closed off for decades, launched a new visa regime last month for nationals from countries in Europe, North America and much of Asia to boost foreign tourism and diversify the economy away from oil.


Executive regulations published over the weekend stipulate that people from other countries who have a tourist or commercial visa from the United States, Britain or European Union nations can follow the same process, rather than applying at a Saudi overseas mission with additional documentation.


Until now, foreigners travelling to Saudi Arabia had been largely restricted to resident workers and their dependents, business travellers and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.


The new visas are valid for up to one year, cost about $120 including a health insurance fee, and allow multiple entries and stays of up to three months.


Following the visa announcement, the authorities implemented a public decency code barring immodest dress and public displays of affection, but in a break with precedent said they would allow foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together without proving they are related.


Alcohol is still banned.


The Gulf country, which shares borders with Iraq to the north and Yemen to the south, boasts vast tracts of desert but also verdant mountains, pristine beaches and historical sites including five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


(Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Edmund Blair)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-14
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what do they shout in a Saudi strip club?- show us yer face 😁

Thanks but no thanks I’ll pass on that one!

And thus another broad, bright, new alternative vista opens for the elderly finding themselves trapped and despised in Thailand on limited income.   Forget about Vietnam and Cambodia. Look w

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5 minutes ago, Alainpm said:

I skip all these countries including their airlines. Not a cent for them 

Nice to meet you, so do I since 2015! Such a pity we let them invest in our countries..  

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I realize they are huge allies of the west...the non democratic monarchy led by a murderous thug....but forgive me if I don't join the multitudes rushing to visit Saudi. 

I would rather gouge my own eye out that visit Saudi,

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