Saudi Arabia has eased tourist visa requirements with immediate effect for Pakistani travellers with applicants now only having to submit a bank statement showing a minimum monthly credit amount of $750 or its equivalent, the Saudi Tourism Authority said on Wednesday.

A press release issued today from the authority said that the country was “one of the top international destinations” for Pakistani travellers with a 43 per cent growth in the number of tourists arriving in the kingdom compared to 2023.

The authority said the kingdom was aiming to welcome 2.7 million Pakistani visitors in 2024.

“To accommodate this growing demand, Saudi is making it easier for Pakistani travellers to obtain the visa prior to travel through one of six Tasheer offices established across Pakistan in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Multan,” the press release said.

It explained that Tasheer offices offer a “convenient and user-friendly experience”, including visa application guidance, biometric enrolment, status tracking and passport delivery.

“Travellers can schedule an appointment on the Tasheer website prior to their visit.”

It added that the kingdom had also introduced the transit visa which was available for travellers arriving via the Saudia and Flynas airlines, through which visitors could transit and explore Saudi Arabia for up to 96 hours.

“Visa on arrival is available for those travellers who hold a valid and used UK, US or Schengen visa.”

The authority recounted that in the past year, Saudi Arabia had introduced the one-year multiple entry visa for Pakistani travellers.

“This is a specific visa for those coming for personal visits such as attending weddings or functions or visiting friends or family. Holders of this visa can enjoy multiple visits to Saudi within a 12-month period, allowing them to explore the country’s vibrant cities, cultural richness, and natural wonders all year round.”

It added that Pakistani travellers with the one-year multiple entry visa could also perform Umrah which highlighted the kingdom’s “commitment to fostering spiritual journeys and cultural exchanges”.

The authority said that making it easier to get a visa would encourage more Pakistani travellers to not only visit their friends and family and perform Umrah, but, would also encourage them to “explore Saudi; from Riyadh’s vibrant cityscape, Jeddah’s cultural richness, hidden treasures of the Red Sea, to the ancient marvels of AlUla.

“Saudi is a year-round destination with several regions offering a cooler escape in summer while the busy calendar of events through winter is attracting more and more tourists each year.”

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