A Historic Moment Saudi Arabia to Offer Tourist Visas for First Time.
Saudi Arabia said Friday it will offer tourist visas for the first time, opening up the ultra-conservative kingdom to holidaymakers as part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil.
Kickstarting tourism is one of the centrepieces of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 reform programme to prepare the biggest Arab economy for a post-oil era.
The announcement comes just two weeks after devastating attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure blamed by Washington on Iran -- which roiled global energy markets and raised fears of a wider regional conflict.
"Opening Saudi Arabia to international tourists is a historic moment for our country," tourism chief Ahmed al-Khateeb said in a statement.
"Visitors will be surprised.by the treasures, we have to share -five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, vibrant local culture and breathtaking natural beauty."
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