Great news for SAUDIA passengers flying to Saudi Arabia!
Previously known as Saudi Arabia Airlines, SAUDIA, the esteemed national carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has launched a new offering for passengers flying with SAUDIA. Passengers can avail a four-day free visa to Saudi Arabia upon purchasing a SAUDIA flight ticket.
Many UAE-based airlines such as Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi are already offering free transit visas of 48 to 96 hours along with plane tickets. And now, Saudia Airlines with its free visa scheme has jumped on the bandwagon with its “Your Ticket is a Visa ” initiative.
Through this endeavour, Saudia aspires to facilitate religious and cultural tourism. Particularly beneficial for followers of Islam, the people can also use these 96 hours to perform Umrah at Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. Moreover, with an opportunity to enter the country visa-free for 96 hours, travellers can visit Saudi Arabia and explore the country for four days with this visa.
SAUDIA’s 3-minute Free Visa Process
Yup, you’ve heard that right! The airline promises a hassle-free visa in just 3 minutes! SAUDIA’s spokesperson Abdullah Al- Shahrani, elaborated on the visa-obtaining process, citing that“The new programme will allow the visitor to link the visa to the stage of issuing the ticket. When the traveller is interested in buying a ticket, he will be redirected to a question asking him about the need for a visa”.
Al-Shahrani also added: “If the passenger answers yes, he will complete the procedure which does not exceed three minutes from the same site without the need to resort to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to obtain a visa, as is the case in some countries.”
A Novel Strategy
‘Your Ticket is a Visa‘ is an imperative part of Saudi’s 2030 Vision. It is one of the major initiatives aimed at increasing the number of tourists by improving air connectivity to the country. With this program, tourists from all over the globe can explore Saudi Arabia while en route to their final destination.
That’s not all. This visa scheme will also help people utilise their long layovers in Saudi Arabia, giving them a chance to explore the city without worrying about the visa hassle. Furthermore, travellers coming to the country for just a day or four will be directly eligible for a Saudi Arabia free visa, as buying the SAUDIA flight ticket will automatically grant them a four-day free visa. Meanwhile, according to recent updates, the airline plans to increase its international flights by 40 per cent and introduce 500,000 additional seats on its domestic flights this 2023.
The Burning Question
“Can travellers leave the airport if they don’t have a Saudi Arabia visa?” is the question on every traveller’s mind.
While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is welcoming travellers from all over the world, those who are transiting through Saudi Arabia have to meet certain transit requirements to avail this free visa service. For instance, travellers transiting through Saudi can’t leave the airport and enter the city without a tourist visa. If you wish to explore the country during lengthy layovers, you must apply for a tourist visa before travelling. However, some countries and nationalities are eligible for a visa-on-arrival and can opt for that at the airport.
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