Tips on how to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2020
Last year Saudi Arabia introduced its new tourist visa as part of vision 2030. This allows people from 49 different countries to apply online, on arrival or via their local consulate.
In 2019 both our Managing Director Julia and our Creative Director Michael were some of the very first travellers to be able to visit Saudi Arabia on this visa.
The new eVisa is a one year, multiple entry visa, allowing the owner to visit Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days at any time.
Not only that, but the new eVisa allows single female travellers to now visit Saudi Arabia without needing a chaperon.
Additionally, for Muslims the new eVisa allows them to explore so much more of Saudi Arabia. Rather than being restricted to Jeddha Makkah and Median on the Hajj and Umrah visa. This means they get to see much more of a country that they have been able to visit but not explore!
What countries are included in Saudi Arabias new visa?
There are 49 countries in total that are eligible to now apply for this visa. Additionally, this new eVisa means that you can now issue your own visa rather than having to get someone to endorse it for you.
How to apply to a Saudi visa online
As long as your country is on the lists above it is pretty straight forward to issue your own visa. (If your country doesn’t appear there are other options. However, the application process is more lengthy and will require much more documentation evidence).
Step 1: Personal details
To get started you will need to register on their portal and confirm your email and phone number.
Step 2: Personal and passport details
In this section, you will need your passport and it will also ask for details about your address etc. You will also need to provide details of where you are staying. However, if you plan to explore the country and visit multiple destinations you’ll just need to enter the details of your first hotel.
Each step gives you 10 minutes to complete which we found was more than enough time.
You are able to apply for a single or group application. Furthermore, as a solo female traveller, you no longer need a chaperon!
Step 3: Medical insurance
Unlike on other visas, you may book where you sort out your medical insurance separately, this is a built-in step when applying for your Saudi Arabia tourist visa.
Step 4: Terms and conditions
These are clear and transparent. I would advise going through them. Additionally, I would also advise doing plenty of research prior to your trip on Saudi culture, expectations and rules.
From a westerners point of view some of the rules may come across as very conservative so do your research. We have also written a handy guide to female dress code in Saudi Arabia which you may find useful!
Step 5 and 6: Review and pay
Simply review your application, making sure all information is correct.
You will then be asked to pay. The cost of a Saudi Arabia tourist visa is currently 426SAR which roughly equates to £93.
Once you have completed these steps you will see that your application is under review and you will have to wait for approval. In the FAQ section on the website this advises that it will take between 5-30mins to process.
Why visit Saudi Arabia?
With so much change already happening in Saudi Arabia, as well as all of the exciting developments to happen in the next 10 years, there are more reasons then ever to visit Saudi Arabia.
Not only does Saudi Arabia have a rich and diverse history. But it also has many cultural hotspots and beautiful landscapes to explore. This includes Al-Hofuf, Al-Turaif District, Ad Diriyah and Al-Ula. Not to forget its proximity to some sublime diving hotspots with endless beaches on the red sea to explore.
It goes without saying that if you are Muslim, visiting Saudi Arabia is a must. Both Mecca and Medina are Islam’s holiest cities with approximately 2 million Muslim’s visiting from across the globe each year. Naturally, these cities are off-limits to non-Muslims. However, there is so much to explore within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Check out our latest blogs on visiting Saudi Arabia and how Entertainment and Events are transforming the Saudi landscape.