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Saudi Arabia Plans for Tourism Include the Issuing of an E-Visa

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Saudi Missions abroad plans into issuing visas online for tourists, through an online application as a new system that will go into full operation.

Since the issuing of the regular visas, around 9,000 ones have already been issued for visitors, who attended four of the Kingdom’s hugest events including, the Formula E motor racing, the Italian Super Cup football match in Jeddah, the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, and the Winter at Tantora festival in Al-Ula.

This step goes under the plans of Saudi Arabia to turn the country into a touristic hub, that will attract international tourists and host global events. In the light of this plan, the government is to adopt a new technology that will permit consulates and embassies to issue electronic visas in just 24 hours, upon receiving the request.

The plan of the Saudi missions abroad extends to the country being the quickest in the world, to turn around applications.

“There is a huge demand for tourism, especially from the US, European countries and Japan,” Khalid Al-Kahtani, a counselor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ visa department, said.

Al-Khatani also added that they will be allowing women from abroad to visit the country, without a male guardian.

 

 

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Travel

RCU Partners With Aman Hotel to Transform Al-Ula into a Top Touristic Destination

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The Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU) announced earlier a partnership with Aman hotel and resort.

Culture Minister and RCU Gov. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al-Saud has signed the agreement on Monday with Vladislav Doroni, Aman Chairman and CEO.

This partnership includes the development of the first ever three Aman resorts in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Prince Badr said that Aman’s choice to develop its first Middle Eastern property in Al Ula “shows the promise and progress of the vision for AlUla to become a worldwide destination for those seeking unique experiences. I believe this partnership will be the next step in the development of the yet-to-be-discovered masterpiece that is AlUla.”

Doronin, CEO and chairman of Aman resorts expressed her excitement saying: “Many of our existing Aman destinations are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty and rich history. With the addition of spectacular AlUla, this takes us to 10 properties situated near or in UNESCO heritage sites, making it a fitting location for our first destination in the Middle East.”

The property will be a spa resort including 30 luxurious tents based in the beautiful mountain valley and close to several heritage and cultural areas of Al Ula.

This partnership comes in light of the RCU’s goals of transforming Al Ula into a top destination for tourists, and that is by welcoming potential investors and giving the opportunity to business owners to help transform the city.

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Saudi Citizens Will No Longer Need a Visa to Travel to South Africa

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The Kingdom’s foreign ministry announced that Saudi citizens will be able to travel to South Africa without the need of issuing a visa starting from August 15.

Just last month the South African Tourism (SA Tourism) got the news that seven countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be added to the visa waiver list for travel to South Africa. 

This means that Saudi nationals will be able to visit the country for 90 days for business or tourism, as stated by the Kindom’s foreign ministry said.

 

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Taif: What Makes it The Kingdom’s City of Roses!

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Taif governorate has been crowned as the Kingdom’s city of roses and the best Saudi summer city, because of its incredible climate during the summer, its amazing natural landscapes and top touristic sites.

This makes Taif the Kingdom’s domestic tourism volume for its magnificent touristic attractions that include parks, museums, the most popular flea markets, and farms in addition to some cultural attractions such as Souk Okaz, which has been developed by the National Authority for Tourism and National Heritage through organizing the Souk Okaz Festival these past few years.

Visitors of Taif can also enjoy a stroll down some of the ancient Arabian Peninsula’s market. Another important site to visit is the Shubra Palace which includes one of the Kingdom’s most important museums, the Taif Regional Museum that was the presidency residence of King Abdul Aziz and King Faisal. 

Another great way to spend the day is to take a 2 hour drive from the Intercontinental in Taif and hike the top of the Al Wahbah Crater, the hike takes about 3.5 hours but the view of the landscape is certainly worth the adventure!

The weather, the sites, the heritage of the Taif are all factors that truly position the place as a top touristic attraction.

 

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