News Desk |
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced to issue tourist visas to single women aged above 25. Single women after this momentous decision will be able to visit Saudi Arabia without a male guardian. However, women below this age will still require a family member to accompany them.
The announcements were made earlier this year in January by the Tourism department. Tourism department in the following statement mentioned Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would issue tourist visas by 1st April that will be valid for 30 days.
Omar Al-Mubarak, Director General of licensing’s department said, “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 tourism in the country is currently on intermittent basis as it receives its large share of tourist as pilgrims visiting the country for religious obligation to perform Hajj or Umrah.
The decision is part of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s ‘Vision 2030’ that seeks to open the ultra-conservative yet unreceptive society towards the western world. The Kingdom under ‘Vision 2030’ is endeavoring to decrease its economic dependence on shrinking oil resources.
Several economic rejuvenation strategies are employed under ‘Vision 2030’ one of that is to engage the western society through tourism. Saudi Arabia possess long unexplored coastline along the Red Sea that can serve as a meaningful recreation spot for western tourists.
But this requires Kingdom to release some of its tightly held principals, particularly on women before it can align with the western traditions of liberalism.
Saudi Arabia is following the path set by its neighboring country United Arab Emirate that has already allowed single women to travel alone in the country.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to rival UAE in tourism industry. As UAE seeks to increase the tourist visiting the country to 20 million annually by 2020 while Saudi Arabia seeks to attract 30 million visitors annually by 2030.