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Saudi committee sets tourism guidelines

KSA
GDN Online Desk


The Saudi authorities will not issue individual entry visas to foreign women planning to visit Saudi Arabia as tourists, according to Okaz newspaper.

The restrictive measure is pay of guidelines set by up an official high-level committee to regulate the issuance of tourist visas.

Under the new procedure, women aged less than 25 will not be issued with entry visas unless they are in the company of their families and part of the tourism group.

The committee includes officials representing the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

Foreign women visitors will be issued individual entry visas only as part of a tourism group travelling on an organized trip to Saudi Arabia.

The programme of the trip shall be set in advance in coordination between an accredited tour operator abroad and another accredited tour operator inside Saudi Arabia.

Full details of the tourism programme of the trip shall be forwarded in advance through an automated system to concerned authorities, including the security agencies.

Only tour operators accredited by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH)will be allowed to organize tourism trips to Saudi Arabia, finalise visa procedures for tourists, received them on their arrival and provide them transportation, and supervise their accommodation and their departure from the country.

Visas shall be based on a contract signed between the overseas tour operator and a hotel in Saudi Arabia, including a detailed entertained programme approved by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

The tour operator shall provide at least one guide from Saudi Arabia to accompany the group, providing this guide speaks the language of the group of tourists and has a knowledge of the local culture and history.

The programme of visits shall be restricted to the places and areas approved in advance by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

The groups of tourists shall commit to the prefixed programme, respect local traditions and heed Islamic values in Saudi Arabia.

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