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Saudi Arabia now welcoming international travelers

August 2, 2021 Middle East News No Comments

Travellers seeking a cultural adventure rich in historical attractions and undiscovered treasures can add a new destination to their wish list – Saudi.

Saudi will reopen its doors to vaccinated international visitors from 1 August 2021, allowing travellers and adventurers to explore this fascinating, untouched destination once again.

With low COVID-19 levels and world-class protocols in place to protect the health of visitors and their families, Saudi is going to great lengths to ensure that people can enjoy the country’s legendary hospitality with confidence.

According to data on the Worldometers website, which gathers data from accredited sources worldwide, Saudi has recorded a little over 14,700 coronavirus cases per million people in the population, below the global average of 25,153 cases per million and significantly below many of the world’s traditional tourism hotspots.

Vaccine rollout to citizens and residents is well underway, with more than 25 million doses administered as of 28 July. More than half of all Saudi citizens and residents have now received their first shot and one if five have received two doses of the vaccine.

Travel Protocols

Tourism visa holders who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to enter the country from 1 August, 2021 without the need to quarantine. Travelers will need to provide evidence of a full course of one the four vaccines currently recognized: two doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson.

Travelers who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has opened a web portal at https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home for visitors to register their vaccination status. The site is available in Arabic and English.

Travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia are also required to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and an approved paper vaccination certificate, certified by the official health authorities in the issuing country.

To accommodate travellers, Saudi has upgraded Tawakkalna, the country’s award-winning track and trace app, to allow temporary visitors to register with their passport details. Tawwakalna is required for entry to many public places in Saudi, including shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Saudi attractions

Visitors seeking unexplored heritage sites, an authentic cultural experience and breath-taking natural beauty this winter will be surprised and delighted to discover Saudi’s warm welcome.

The announcement of the resumption of tourism visa comes as Saudi prepares to launch its 2021 summer seasonal campaign, bringing a wealth of spectacular events and attractions to the country. before the pandemic, Saudi was emerging as a new entertainment hub for the region, attracting world-class acts including Backstreet Boys, Afrojack and Korean pop sensation BTS as well as the famous London Winter Wonderland and MDL Beast, the Middle East’s largest music and cultural event.

For adventurers, Saudi also boasts a surprisingly diverse range of landscapes, including the green mountains of Asir, the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea, which offer unparalleled diving and snorkelling opportunities year round, the snow-covered winter plains of Tabuk and the ancient city of AlUla, which contains 200,000 years of fascinating human history.

Saudi is also home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Hegra in AlUla, the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan
  • At-Turaif District in Ad-Diriyah, the first capital of the Saudi state
  • Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Mecca, characterized by a distinctive architectural tradition of coral houses
  • Rock art in the Hail region, showing 10,000-year old inscriptions of human and animal figures
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis, with 2.5 million date palms and the largest oasis in the world
  • Petroglyphs and rock art in Hima dating back to 2500–1000 BCE.

A number of new tourist destinations are currently under construction, including the futuristic city of NEOM, the Qiddiya entertainment city near Riyadh and a range of luxury destinations by the Red Sea – an exquisite sanctuary encompassing an archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands.

Citizens from 49 countries are eligible for a tourism visa, which can be secured on the Visit Saudi website. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, especially from countries with new variant coronavirus, travellers should check with their carrier before booking.

The resumption of tourism to Saudi Arabia comes almost 18 months after international tourism was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 18 months after the Kingdom historically opened its doors to international visitors for the first time, in September 2019.

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