The Kingdom continues to make historic reforms as it opens up to tourists and this week, the tourism authority announced a revolutionary guideline which allows foreign women and men to share a hotel room without a marriage proof.
First, women were allowed to travel without a male guardianship and now the Kingdom is easing the regulations for foreign tourists after the launch of the first tourist visa scheme, all comes in light of the 2030 Vision that aims at diversifying the economy of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage stated that women can now rent a hotel room using a proof of identity only, and without the need of a male approval.
The new visa allows tourists to enter the Kingdom for 90 days and this marks the Kingdom’s first time to open up for foreigners and in doing so, the tourism sector has already contributed with a 3% to the total GDP of Saudi Arabia and with these new reforms and easing of regulations, the government aspires to push the 3% to 10% in the upcoming period.
Saudi Arabia Grants Permanent Residency to Foreigners
Just recently, the Kingdom has opened its doors for tourists from across the world and now 73 individuals, of non-Saudi nationality, have been granted permanent residency without the need of a sponsor.
This is once again all part of the Kingdom’s plans in attracting overseas investment by allowing certain people to attain properties and do business.
With the tourist visa, and now this new permanent residency program, the kingdom hopes to improve its economy by reducing its dependency on oil and opening up new new sectors for investments. By increasing tourism, the livelihood of Saudi Arabia is expected to witness an evolution as well.
According to an article published in Bloomberg, “the kingdom received thousands of applications after offering permanent residency for 800,000 riyals (Dhs 783,546) or a one-year renewable permit for 100,000 riyals (Dhs 97,943).”
‘Diriyah Gate’ Project to Be Inaugurated This Month
The restoration of Diriyah will officially be inaugurated on November 19th with a remarkable event to celebrate the gega-project known as Diriyah Gate, which has been accomplished to welcome visitors to the historical area of Diriyah.
The event will showcase the efforts of Saudi Arabia in introducing the cultural area as one of the Kingdom’s greatest gathering places, the celebration will officially inaugurate the project ‘Diriyah Gate’ which is a cultural touristic destination for Saudi Arabia with UNESCO World Heritage Site at its heart.
This remarkable event will include a world-class gala dinner, serving food that is completely sourced from Saudi farms, musical performances by Saudi musicians and pyrotechnics and costumed historical interpreters who will introduce history stories to the guests.
“There is only one Diriyah. Only this place can tell the story of the Saudi people and inspire new generations to commit to the dynamic vision of the future. This is truly a momentous time in this extraordinary country, and I am proud to lead a world-class team in the development of this historic site that is destined to become a global cultural icon and one of the world’s greatest gathering places.” Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said.
The project is set to become one of the main cultural destination in Saudi Arabia, giving visitors the opportunity to gather, explore, shop and dine in one the finest and most appealing places in the Kingdom. All of which will appeal to the local and international tourists, seeking a sense of authenticity.
All Flights to Be Relocated to the New Jeddah Airport by Next Year
It has been announced that as of next year, all flights to Saudi Arabia will be relocated form the old King Abdulaziz International Airport to the new Jeddah airport.
This will include flights to and from Athens, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich, Milan and Vienna.
According to sources, the fourth phase will kick off in mid-November and will cover destinations including Dammam, Qasim, Cairo, Khartoum, Kuwait, Nairobi and Beirut. While the fifth phase will begin on December 10th to include flights to Ankara, Tunisia, Johannesburg, Delhi, Mumbai and others.
The transition from the old airport to the new one will be gradual so that by the end of this year, the national carrier will begin its long distance hauls to Europe and America.
More flights will begin to kick off from the new airport by the end of the first quarter of next year, up until the airport reached its maximum capacity of 100 million passengers yearly.