Saudi introduces online visa system for international tourists

By September 26, 2018News

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday their plans for an online visa process for international tourists.

The platform, called Sharek, will be released in time for the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which is the opening race of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The event will be the first accessible to foreign tourists, as the country aims to expand its’ events calendar.

“This is a truly game-changing moment for Saudi Arabia and one that we can share with the world. It is very fitting that such a futuristic and sustainable sport as Formula E is pointing to the future direction of our country,” said vice chairman of the General Sports Authority Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud.

However, the government did not announce which other events the online visa process would be allowed for.

Obtaining visit visas to Saudi has previously been restricted to those with family in the kingdom or visiting for business purposes.

As part of their diversification efforts, the kingdom has been working to attract more international visitors to increase their tourism industry.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) announced in April their introduction of tourist visas to visit the Kingdom.

The upcoming Red Sea tourism project is set to be the first area in Saudi Arabia to allow entry for certain international passport holders without a visit visa.