Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to the world through a new tourist visa.
Australia is one of 49 countries eligible to apply for Saudi Arabia’s new tourist e-Visas and Visas on arrival, with the scheme marking the first time tourist visas have been made available.
The eVisa is a one-year, multiple entry visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country.
The cost of applying is SAR440 (AU$173.60) plus VAT, with applications able to be made at Saudi Embassies and Consulates in the 49 countries included in the program, at electronic kiosks available at airports and via an online portal at visa.visitsaudi.com
New Zealand is also one of the countries included in the program, alongside the US, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore and 38 European nations.
The scheme is backed by an development and diversity strategy designed to reduce the kingdom’s economic dependence on oil, which from 2019-2022 will focus on attracting first-time visitors.
Under the program, women who visit will not have to wear the abaya, which all locals by law must wear outside their homes.
Both men and women are asked to avoid tight-fitting clothing, dress modestly in public and avoid public displays of affection, while women must cover their shoulders and knees in public.
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