- Tourists will be allowed to stay in the country for up to three months per entry.
- The kingdom’s guidelines for tourists is yet to specify a dress code for women.
Nigeria has again been shunned by Saudi Arabia through their new visa system that allows people from 49 countries to apply for e-visas and visas on arrival.
It could be recalled that Nigeria was also shunned by China on its new visa system.
The chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Ahmad Al-Khateeb, revealed that no black African nation, including Nigeria, is included in the offer.
The official who noted that the move was part of the kingdom’s efforts to wean its economy off oil by increasing international and domestic visits to 100 million a year by 2030.
“Opening Saudi Arabia to international tourists is a historic moment for our country,” said Al-Khateeb.
According to a report from the local media, the system which takes from today favours citizens of Germany, the United States and China.
Tourists will be allowed to stay in the country for up to three months per entry but can only spend a maximum of 90 days a year using their one-year multiple-entry visa.
Saudi Arabia being one of the hardest countries for tourists to enter with visas granted only for short-term business trips, religious pilgrimage, or for travelers with family in the country has now reduced the conditionalities as a move to attract holidaymakers.
This is in line with a Vision 2030, a grand scheme aimed at diversifying the monarchy’s oil-reliant economy launched in 2016, Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Mohammed has presented himself as a reformer who has been easing social restrictions, especially those targeting women.
Some of the major decisions he championed include allowing women to drive for the first time in the kingdom as well as easing the guardianship rules by allowing women to get a passport and travel outside the kingdom without the approval of a male guardian.
Although, the kingdom’s guidelines for tourists is yet to specify a dress code for women, but it is not mandatory for a woman to cover her hair or wear the long, loose garments known as abaya.