Saudi Arabia announces that they would open their doors to tourism with e-visas to tourists from 49 nations, including the U.S. anyone older than 18 may request an eVisa. It is valid for a duration of one year, with various entry options, and allows up to 90 days of stay in the nation. Previously, only visitors to holy pilgrimages and business visas were given by the Kingdom.
This historic statement forms part of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform agenda of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to lessen the dependence of the kingdom on oil and to diversify its economy.
So if you are a first time traveler to Saudi Arabia, there are few things you must know before you enter the kingdom. Which foremost includes and starts with luggage (what to wear and what not to) and choosing the airlines, here, Flight booking with tajawal can help you out through various things from departing to arriving. Though there are many things but you don’t need to remember each of them, only a few remain important. Here we go.
1- Changes to Know That Have Taken Place
In the last two (2) years, the government has stated the beginning of a number of advanced projects, including an amusement megacity in Riyadh, a futuristic beach resort on the Red Sea coast. According to Reuters, the government plans to make 100 million visitors per year by 2030, boost international and domestic investments in hotels and related facilities, create millions of employment, and raise tourist earnings, from 3% to 10% of the nation ’s Gross Domestic Product. Read more: Saudi Tourists from 49 Countries Will be Allowed to Perform Umrah
Saudi Arabia has lifted a number of its conservative restrictions, such as granting women rights for driving and travelling without a guardian, limiting the moral police powers, allowing unmarried tourist couples to rent hotel rooms, and relaxing clothing codes to attract western tourists and market itself in tourism as well as the neighboring Gulf countries.
More than 20 thousand tourists entered the Kingdom, as per the national News, within the first 10 days of the implementation of the eVisa. Though the tourist infrastructure is lacking, Saudi natural landscapes and their hospitable local citizens will find ample incentives to visit individuals who want to learn more and learn about the nation.
2- Do Some Research on the Place You Plan to Travel
There can be distinct public places and separated entries or dining areas for women and men in Arab. Remember to avoid doing things that are prohibited or against the law such as PDA.
If you are into vlogging and shooting short clips, before filming local people, request approval. This is somehow a good gesture and should be followed in other states as well. It is a criminal violation under the public code of conduct in Arabia. Other infractions include state land destruction, prayer time playing games or music and breaches of the clothing code. Read more: Procedure to Apply Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa for 2021
3- Natives and Hosting
Your hosts are welcoming and wish to provide you a symbol of hospitality, such as food or perhaps a modest present. You’ll be glad to know that local people are quite hospitable, generous and as interested as you are. The refusal of such an offer is considered impolite. Remember, accept when you feel like it, and try to eat with your right hand.
They also have a specific trend of removing their shoes when entering home so, remove your shoes if you are invited to a Saudi residence, except that your host demands you leave them on. You are supposed to sit on the floor in a traditional Majlis. It is a place in the homes of Arabs, which consists of cushions and carpet on the floor and people gather there to drink tea.
You might have heard about the veiling and full body covering in Arab states. However, the face veil is not necessary for female visitors there but instead both men and women should wear modest dresses, avoid tight fit and displaying clothing. More details on what this includes are available on the official Visit Saudi tourist website. Though if you are interested to know more about the dressing in Arab, you can google other sites too. Read more: Saudi Arabia to Issue Tourist Visa Within 7 Minutes for 49 Countries
5- Important Times to Know
Being Muslim majority in Saudi Arabia, people have to offer their prayers five times a day and meanwhile shops and eateries close for prayer. What you need to do is plan your journey according to these hours to make the most of your journey.
Being a Muslim country, the majority of people are Muslims but however non-Muslims are welcome and are also allowed to practice their faith in private areas, it is forbidden to preach on public platform or social media. That may go against the law. Malicious anti-country propaganda, government and religion are a serious crime. Selling, buying or using alcohol and narcotics are also banned in Saudi Arabia. So, you need to be careful about that too.