Saudi Arabia is planning to issue its first official tourist visas from April 1, according to tour operators.The plan is a bid to allow non-Muslim tourists visit historic sites such as Jeddah, Riyadh and the ancient city of Mada’in Saleh in the Arabian Desert.If the plan goes ahead, then this will be the first time that the kingdom country will issue visas specifically for tourism, although tourists have been allowed to enter Saudi Arabia for religious business and so-called personal visits in the past.
“We’ve heard so much about Saudi Arabia in regards to business, religion, and politics. But as a traveler, getting to see beneath the news story and understand more about day-to-day life, the people of Saudi, and the amazing historical sites, is a huge driver of interest in visiting the country”, said Andrea Ross, United States’ Director at Wild Frontiers.
“The Nabatean site of Mada’in Saleh, featuring a number of spectacular rock-cut tombs similar in style to the Nabatean sites at Petra. And a visit to visit the Red Sea town of Jidda (Jeddah), where the only tourists will be Saudi families enjoying the sun and sea, the capital Riyadh and the Sarawat Mountains, close to the border with Yemen. Here you see villages that feature brick stone towers used as residences. This unique form of architecture used to be a highlight of any trip to Yemen. And with Yemen now closed off, seeing these here is an incredible opportunity,” she was quoted by Conde Nast Traveler as saying.