Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman expects the Saudi tourism sector to account for 10% of the country’s GDP by 2030, a significant increase from the 2% as of 2019, says an article on CNBC. The introduction of the electronic tourist visa is only one of the initiatives the kingdom has implemented to achieve this goal. The Saudi Vision 2030 program is an attempt to cut down the nation’s reliance on oil for revenue and bolster various other sectors, such as health, education, infrastructure and so on.
With the introduction of the e-visa, Chinese nationals can now visit Saudi Arabia for the purposes of leisure and tourism, as long as they fulfill the visa requirements for Chinese citizens.
Documents Required By Chinese Citizens
The e-visa alone does not guarantee entry into the kingdom. The following documents are mandatory to enter Saudi Arabia for the purposes of tourism.
A Chinese passport with validity of at least six months beyond the intended travel dates and a minimum of one blank page for the entry stamp.
TOURIST E VISA
A copy of the electronic visa, which would have been sent to you via email.
The Saudi government permits up to SAR 60,000 to be carried into and out of the country. If you are likely to exceed the cash limit, either on entry or exit, you will need to inform the officials beforehand. In case you fail to do so, you could face legal repercussions, including imprisonment.
Vaccination proofs for Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, etc., will need to be produced at the port of entry. Along with this, medical insurance of at least $26,666 is a must for each tourist, without which you will not be allowed to enter the kingdom. Thankfully, medical insurance is part of the visa application process, provided by the Saudi authorities, the payment for which is included in the visa fee.
How To Apply For A Saudi Arabia Visa For Chinese Citizens
Here’s what to do to fulfill the visa requirements for Chinese citizens:
STEP 1: VISIT SAUDI ARABIA’S OFFICIAL ELECTRONIC VISA PORTAL
The first step to begin the application procedure is to visit the official e-visa website of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
STEP 2: CREATE AN ACCOUNT
On this website, you will need to create an account to complete the application procedure. Once done, you can start filling up the visa application form. This account will have all the mandatory visa information and you can also check your application status here.
To create the account, fill in your basic details, such as name, email address, phone number, along with your login info, such as username and password. Enter your passport type and the name of the country of issuance, which is China in this case. An activation link will be sent to the email address you had provided. Click on this link within 24 hours of receiving it.
After this, your account will become official and the next time you log in to your account, you will need to enter the verification code, which you would have received via email.
STEP 3: APPLY FOR THE SAUDI ARABIA ONLINE VISA
The application form consists of several pages, so keep enough time aside to fill in all the details accurately. On the first page, fill in your personal details, like your full name, gender, country of birth, marital status, occupation, residential address and so on.
Next, upload a photo of yourself where your entire face and forehead is clearly visible. The dimensions should be 200×200 pixels and the size should be between 3KB and 100 KB. The photo should be in .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif or .bmp format.
On the following page, enter your passport information and your intended dates of entering and exiting Saudi Arabia. The travel dates need not be rigid, since you can visit the kingdom at any time within a period of one year of your e-visa being granted.
You will be required to fill in other details as well, such as your place of accommodation in the kingdom and purpose of travel. Next, enter the purchase details of the mandatory medical insurance. The cost of insurance is SAR140, including 5% VAT.
The last page of the form contains all the terms and conditions.
STEP 4: PAY THE VISA FEE
The final step is to make a payment of SAR463.44. This amount includes a visa fee of SAR300, insurance fee of SAR133, 5% VAT or SAR22, and lastly a transaction fee of SAR8.44. You can pay via credit or debit card.
If all the steps are completed successfully, you will receive the visa via email within the next 72 hours.
Etiquette To Follow In Saudi Arabia
For an enjoyable and hassle-free trip to Saudi Arabia, it is important to follow the accepted etiquette of the kingdom. Here are a few rules that must be followed while in public.
- Do not practice or preach any other religion, apart from Islam. Also, do not preach against the values and principles of Islam. This is a severe offense and you might be subjected to severe punishment.
- Make sure you are not playing loud music in public, particularly during prayer times.
- There should be no physical contact between a man and a woman in public. You can shake hands only if the woman extends hers first. Hugging or other forms of public display of affection are prohibited.
- Alcoholic beverages are “haram” or forbidden within the kingdom. Carrying or brewing alcohol at home is also not allowed either.
- Men must be in full pants and full-sleeved shirts and women must cover their shoulders and knees at all times. Indecent texts or images on your clothes are strictly prohibited.
- Taking photographs of military installations, government institutions and certain other buildings is prohibited.
- Practicing homosexuality can lead to severe penalties.
- Foreign women can avoid the abaya but wear a head scarf instead while entering mosques or certain other areas of Saudi Arabia.
- Importing pork and drugs is illegal.
Saudi Arabia aims to be among the top five countries with the maximum number of tourists by 2030. The kingdom has relaxed some of its rules on dress codes to make life easier for tourists. Make sure you follow the code of conduct to ensure a safe and happy visit.
If this is your first time visiting the kingdom or if you are looking for a stress-free travel experience, hire the services of a reputed agency, like Rapid Visa. We will take care of the entire visa process on your behalf and guide you about the dos and don’ts in the kingdom.