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Saudi to issue special visas for sporting and musical events

The new Saudi visa programme, called "Sharek," will be launched to coincide with the Formula-E Ad Diriyah Grand Prix inaugural race due to take place on Dec. 15, near the capital Riyadh, Efe reported.

Edited by: IANS, Riyadh [ Published on: September 26, 2018 12:15 IST ]
Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud

Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud

 

Opening its doors to foreign tourists wanting to attend sporting and musical events, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced it will issue special visas allowing foreign tourists, a strategy aimed at diversifying the kingdom's economy.

The new Saudi visa programme, called "Sharek," will be launched to coincide with the Formula-E Ad Diriyah Grand Prix inaugural race due to take place on Dec. 15, near the capital Riyadh, Efe reported.

"Saudi Arabia will open up its borders to fans of live sport, music and culture for the first time with the launch of a new online visa process dedicated to welcoming international tourists," according to a Saudi General Sports Authority statement.

Saudi Arabia's current visa policy is strict and limited to resident foreign workers, traveling businessmen and Muslim pilgrims, who are given a special visa that only enables them to visit the holy sites.

"Sharek" is part of Saudi Arabia's 2030 Vision, a strategic development plan that seeks to diversify its economy, making it less dependent on its oil and, among other initiatives, double the kingdom's number of tourists and religious pilgrims.

 ( With inputs from IANS )

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