Creating new perspectives since 2009

Saudi Arabia launches free four-day visa

January 31, 2023 at 3:18 pm

Flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudi airline, planes are seen at the Jeddah (Yidda) international airport runway. [Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an electronic four-day transit visa on Monday for those arriving in the kingdom by air. The visa will be issued free of charge and will last for up to 96 hours.

The new visa service aims to facilitate visits to the kingdom for all purposes, including stop-overs and those wishing to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, or attend tourist events.

According to the ministry, the service will start immediately. Passengers must submit a visa application through the online platforms of Saudia and Flynas airlines.

READ: UK Court considers legality of resuming arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Officials added that the digital transit visa service will contribute to the goals of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 through benefiting from its strategic location as a hub linking continents that attracts transit passengers, as well as a global tourist and pilgrim destination.

The kingdom aims to attract investments worth 220 billion riyals ($53.3 bn) in the tourism sector by the end of this year, and 500 bn riyals ($133 bn) by 2030, according to previous statements by the Minister of Tourism. The annual revenue of the Saudi tourism sector exceeded 211 bn riyals (about $56.3 bn) by 2019.

The World Tourism Organisation has pointed out that Saudi Arabia topped the G20 countries in international tourist arrivals in 2022.

READ: Russia, Saudi discuss efforts to maintain oil markets’ stability