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[Diplomatic circuit] Saudi Arabia opens doors to tourists from South Korea

Saudi Arabia will issue travel visas for South Koreans and citizens of 48 other countries as part of its Vision 2030, the Saudi Embassy in Seoul said.

The visa issuance starting Sept. 27 comes amid a series of decisions to ease strict laws and regulations in one of the most conservative countries in the Middle East.

“Saudi Arabia is now opening its doors to international tourists. We are expecting that the tourists from all around the world can enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Red Sea coast, the Empty Quarter and other attractions in the kingdom,” the Saudi Embassy in Seoul said.


Under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 project to reduce dependence on oil, the country is seeking to expand its tourism industry to account for 10 percent of its gross domestic product by 2030 from the current 3 percent.

Citizens of 49 countries, including Korea, can apply for visas online at or on-site in Saudi Arabia.

Tourists with travel visas can stay in Saudi Arabia for up to three months per visit every year. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (