Saudi Arabia to approve visas for solo women travellers

Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Women wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia alone may be able to do so soon, without the need for a ‘guardian’, a senior official has confirmed.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) will grant women aged 25 and over a tourist visa which will be valid for 30 days, a report in Arab News said.

However, women under 25 must be accompanied by a family member. “The tourist visa will be a single-entry visa, and valid for 30 days maximum. This visa is added to those currently available in the Kingdom. It is independent of work, visit, Hajj and Umrah visas,” the report said citing Omar Al-Mubarak, director general of the commission’s licensing department. The SCTH recently said that the start of tourism visa issuance would be announced during the first quarter of 2018. 

The Tourism Visa Initiative is meant to revive the previous tourist visa system to enable visitors to discover new destinations in the Kingdom, to boost the tourism sector and to develop tourism and heritage services and facilities in the kingdom, it said. The aim is also to create more jobs for citizens and reduce the seasonal nature of international tourism with a religious basis during the Umrah and Hajj seasons.