Although most tourism in Saudi Arabia still largely involves religious pilgrimages, there is growth in the leisure tourism sector. According to the World Bank, approximately 14.3 million people visited Saudi Arabia in 2016, making it the world’s 19th-most-visited country. Potential tourist areas include the Hijaz and Sarawat Mountains, Red Sea diving and a number of ancient ruins. When it comes to holidaying in the Middle East, there's a new kid on the block. From April 1, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will start issuing tourist visas for the first time since it clamped down on visitors in 2010. As it stands, all visitors, including pilgrims, to the Kingdom must acquire a visa to enter the country but the new electronic permits are likely to make the process simpler for travellers.
Head of Saudi tourism to introduce tourist visas in 2018: Since then, neighbouring countries such as Oman and the UAE have built highly successful tourist industries. Now the biggest country in the Middle East plans to ease the rules for tourist visas from 1 April 2018. Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its economy to reduce reliance on oil, and tourism is seen as an opportunity. Prospective visitors who were born in Israel or whose passport contains evidence of previous travel to Israel may be refused admission.
It has big cities and modern facilities; small villages in scenic places. It has a tasty, unique cuisine. And it has a local populace who are surely keen for some of their first interactions with the outside world. The traditional heritage of Saudi Arabia is varying from handicrafts to costumes to ethnic dishes. Folklore is a key element in the enchanting tourism experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Kingdom has a unique diversity in its traditional heritage, varying from one province to another, each describes the early social life of its locals. If you want to live the experience and truly indulge in it, then you need to visit the various local tourist sites spread all over the Kingdom.
The territory Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 provinces, each one having its unique charm. The Kingdom has some important archaeological and historical sites, including Madain Saleh in the northwest, built by the ancient Nabateans; and Diriyah, a small historic city about 20 kilometers from the capital. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Other UNESCO sites are Al-Balad, or Historic Jeddah, and the Rock Art archaeological site in Hail region. New tourist attractions and resorts are planned on the islands of the Red Sea coast. Speaking to CNN, Prince Sultan Bin Salman, head of the Saudi Tourism and National Heritage Commission, said: “The targets are people who want to literally experience this country and the grandness of this country”.