The UAE has decided to issue a multiple-entry tourist visa scheme valid for 5 years for all nationalities, giving easier access to people from around the world to enjoy the stunning destination.
The news comes just in time after the UAE was ranked as the world’s best travel destination according to a new research conducted by the online travel agency, Love Holidays.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, made the announcement on Monday.
The tourist visas before were only valid for 30 to 90 days and now with this decision, it’s obvious that the UAE would like to boost tourism economy even more by luring travelers from across the world to the gulf countries.
اعتمدنا اليوم تغيير نظام التأشيرات السياحية في الدولة .. لتكون مدة تأشيرة السياحة خمسة أعوام متعددة الاستخدام .. لكافة الجنسيات .. نستقبل اكثر من ٢١ مليون سائح سنويا وهدفنا ترسيخ الدولة كوجهة سياحية عالمية رئيسية .. pic.twitter.com/C4s26JjUE5
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 6, 2020
Sheikh Mohammed took to his Twitter to announce the news saying, “Today we change the system of issuing tourist visas in the country, to make the duration of the tourist visa for five-years, multiple uses, for all nationalities. We receive more than 21 million tourists annually and our aim is to establish the country as a major global tourist destination.”
‘Winter is Around You’ Campaign Sheds the Light on the Kingdom’s Desert Life
The ‘Winter is Around You’ campaign, which has been recently launched by the Saudi Tourism Authority, will highlight the stunning desert destinations and position it as the ultimate choice for winter break.
Most of the Kingdom is desert and it’s divided to three part: Al-Dahna, Al-Nafud and the Empty Quarter. In these parts, visitors can find beautiful natural oases and parks, and also those interested in hiking can get to enjoy several activities at some of the desert’s cliffs.
The campaign is also highlighting the desert camps, known as Kashtas, and shedding the light on it as a popular destination during this time of the year, it offers the perfect escape for tourists who are looking to get away from the hustle of urban life.
Other activities that suit adventure seekers are and skiing, motorbike riding and “dune bashing.” If you’re the explorer type, then you can take the time to explore and look into the history and heritage of these desert areas or try some chill activities such as camel and horse riding or camping.
The Saudi desert truly is the ideal destination for individuals, groups and family, it’s a place worth promoting for and a place deserves to have people flood to from all over the world.
See AlUla Through the Lens of Young Photographers in CaptureAlUla Photo Competition
A photography competition kicked off earlier on World Photography day and five Saudi photographers were able through their lens to showcase the beauty of AlUla.
The winner of the #CaptureAlUla Photo Competition really did a wonderful job highlighting the beauty of the area that extends to 22,561km² and include a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and historical sites.
The competition, which the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) held in co-operation with Sony Alpha, aimed to support the local talents of the Kingdom. The winners were awarded with a compact Sony Alpha 6600M camera, which has the world’s fastest Auto-focus, and a commission of 10,000 SAR from RCU.
The winners will also get to cooperate with RCU on upcoming projects, which is considered as a great opportunity for them.
Ziad Alarfaj, Sony Alpha Ambassador in KSA and another #CaptureAlUla judge commented: “The participants are all very creative, we chose those winners based on who we believe will have a brilliant future in photography. Each winner has a valuable opportunity to share their artistry with to the world, each picture was chosen not only for showcasing the beauty of its subject, but in telling the story behind it.”
Aisha Alhjairi who loves cinematography, photography and listening to classical music, earned the Design grouping. “By using pottery and dry branches, using earthy colours, and through the harmony between the elements of this artwork and the harmony of lighting in it, I wanted to show and prove that from the drought we can create an artistic picture, as beauty is created from severity, and luxury is created from simplicity,” she said while commenting on her winning image. “I made this idea specifically to show the sensual heritage (the pottery) in a different way from what is customary to touch the feelings of the recipient and bring them back to the memory.”
Check out the incredible photos and see AlUla in a different perspective through the eyes of young talents!
Saudi Arabia Ranked 6th Safest Travel Destinations in World During Pandemic
Saudi Arabia has been ranked among the six safest travel destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Wego Travel Blog.
In the article “Safe Places to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which was published by Wego Travel Blog, the Kingdom was ranked the sixth safest country and it’s also worth mentioning that it was the only Middle Eastern country in the group.
The travel blog chose the countries according to an EU methodology for its travel risk assessment.
Australia came first first in the global safe destinations for travel during the pandemic, followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Zambia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
The classification comes based on the country’s ability in containing the pandemic and how efficient its health system is, regarding the number of ICUs and medical staff.