Saudi Arabia has been working hard to reposition itself in the minds of people around the world. First, they put an end to Saudi women's travel restrictions, allowing women over 21 to issue a passport and travel abroad without needing the permission of a male guardian. Then, they decided to build a whole entertainment city and a Six Flags with record-breaking roller coasters. And now, Saudi Arabia has decided to start issuing tourist visas, in case you ever wanted to casually spend a couple of days in the Kingdom.
The country has taken to social media to start promoting their attractions before announcing the tourist visa, which will launch on September 27, in an event called 'Saudi Arabia opens to tourism'. Highlighting its potential as a tourist destination, they posted a video that went viral with the hashtag #WhereInTheWorld -- a 30-second video showing the attractive destinations of the country and comparing them to famous destinations such as the Maldives, Vietnam, and the Caribbean.
The tourist visa will be available to citizens of 51 countries and issued online or on arrival for SR440 ($117) for the duration of 90 days.
Saudi Arabia’s attempts to reduce its economic reliance on its oil reserves have been going on for a while now, and loosening their social restrictions is another way. From David Guetta halal concert to dance shows and festivals, all efforts to attract more people into the Kingdom and diversify their economic sources -- removing its cape of traditionalism and the conservative image it’s been stuck in for years.
Saudi Arabia is trying to show that it’s more than just Makkah, reminding people that it could be considered as a tourist travel destination and positioning itself in the minds of holidaymakers with its Red Sea coastline. With an international tourism project, The Red Sea, the country is building a resort across a lagoon of 50 islands in partnership with international hotels and resorts.
Source: Arabian Business.