Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Ministry allowed all residents in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to apply for a tourist visa online to visit the kingdom, regardless of their profession.
Saudi Arabia on March 9 announced that all expatriate residents in GCC countries, irrespective of their profession, will be allowed to obtain a tourist visa. The multiple entry visa is valid for both tourism and for performing Umrah, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb said. The tourist visa does not allow the holder to perform Hajj or perform Umrah during the Hajj season.
Also, all first-degree relatives of residence visa holders and domestic workers who wish to visit along with their sponsors are allowed to obtain a tourist visa. In the past, only certain categories of professions were allowed to apply for a tourist visa.
Saudi Arabia in recent months unveiled a host of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to undertake Umrah. The number of Muslims performing Umrah or lesser pilgrimage since the start of the season last July is expected to reach 9 million by the end of the upcoming Ramadan.
Ramadan, due to begin later this month, usually marks the peak of the Umrah season. Saudi authorities have also extended the Umrah visa from 30 days to 90 and allowed holders to enter the kingdom via all land, air and sea outlets and leave from any airport.