RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will be issuing special “event” visas to tourists as it plans to become a major global entertainment destination, a news report said.
The new one-off visas will allow foreign visitors to choose from the growing number of sporting, entertainment and business attractions available in the country, said a report in Arab News.
The new visa category, which can be issued by embassies and consulates within 24 hours of receiving a request, was announced by the Saudi Cabinet on Thursday.
Under the visa upgrade, the Kingdom’s General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority will provide the Foreign Affairs Ministry and state security with details of events at least two months beforehand. The details will then be included in the visa system, the report said.
Saudi Arabia is investing billions of dollars in sports and entertainment as it seeks to reform and diversify its economy, part of a wide-ranging Vision 2030 program introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis, it said.