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There’s nothing like beating the tourist rush…

You can read and read, but there’s nothing better than experiencing a destination for yourself, firsthand. No need to take anyone’s word for it, you can take in all the sights, cultural fascination and sort fact from fiction with your own two eyes.

Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing destinations in the world, but as the country teases the prospect of seamless tourist visas, an interesting opportunity has emerged to secure a visa online, and there are more coming soon. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a visa to Saudi Arabia.

Formula E

Currently there’s no way to attain an e-visa for Saudi Arabia, with one exception. Before we get into that exception, there’s now a dedicated website from Saudi Arabia claiming that e-visitor visas will be available this year to citizens of over 30 countries.

Saudi Arabia hosted a Formula-E event in December, and the website for the event made it explicitly clear that anyone purchasing a ticket is eligible for an e-visa, with the entire process done online.

While this may sound slightly dubious, blogger Bart Lapers shared his firsthand experience, citing that the entire online process took a mere 15 semi stress free minutes! Here’s how it goes…

saudi arabiaSaudi E Visa To Launch In 2019

For now, your opportunities to visit Saudi Arabia with ease are super limited now that Formula E is over, but this is a positive look into a potential future visa process. Saudi Arabia now offers a new dedicated website for the e-visa process, and from the look of things, citizens from the following countries will soon be eligible for a Saudi e-visa in 2019…

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapor
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United States

The Foruma E visa cost 1035SAR which comes out to around $276USD. While it’s far from cheap, it’s also far from the most expensive tourist visas in the world. The e tourist visa lasted two weeks, so it will be interesting to see how long any new visas will last.

If you, like many travellers are always keen to explore a place before it hits mainstream, this is your best bet.

Anyone going to Saudi?

Featured image courtesy of Berga & Gonzalez Architects.

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