For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia has opened up its doors for tourists from all across the world. This move is part of the kingdom’s plan to diversify its economy, moving away from its dependence on oil. For this, Saudi Arabia is working to strengthen its tourism sector, with several cultural and entertainment projects in the pipeline.
There are plans to convert nearly 50 islands in the Red Sea into luxury resorts. The first phase of the Red Sea project is estimated to be complete by 2022, growing the GDP of the kingdom by $5.86 billion (SAR22 billion), according to an article on World Travel Market.
The government of Saudi Arabia has also initiated e-visas for citizens of 49 countries, one of them being Greece. The e-visa allows travellers to stay in the kingdom for up to 90 days. The visa is valid for one year, allowing tourists multiple entries into Saudi Arabia during that period. With this e-visa, traveling to Saudi Arabia has become much easier for citizens of Greece, who no longer need to visit the Saudi embassy to get a visa for Riyadh or any other part of the kingdom.
The documents that Greek citizens need to keep handy when applying for a Saudi Arabia e-visa include:
A passport that is valid for at least three months after your intended dates of travel to the kingdom. The passport must also have two blank pages for the entry stamps.
The visa will be sent to you via email. This means that you need a functional email account that you can easily access.
You also require a digital copy of your passport-sized photograph. The photograph needs to be coloured and taken against a white background. Make sure that you are looking directly at the camera, so that your entire face is clearly visible. Avoid wearing any headgear or glasses that hide your face.
The size of the digital photo needs to be between 3KB and 100KB, with dimensions of 200x200 pixels. The acceptable formats are .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .bmp, and gif.
The visa fee needs to be paid online, for which you will need an active credit or debit card.
The application procedure for the Saudi Arabian e-visa for citizens of Greece does not need you to take an appointment with the Riyadh embassy. It can be completed a few simple steps online.
The first step is to visit the official e-visa website. However, be careful because there are several sites that look official but aren’t.
Next, you need to create your account on the visa site. For this, you need to enter your passport type as well as the country in which it was issued. Next, you need to fill some basic details about yourself, such as your full name, email address and phone number. You also need to provide a username and password for the account.
After you have filled and submitted all the information, you will receive a confirmation link on the email address you have provided. Activate your account by clicking on this link within 24 hours of it being sent.
Once the account is active, you can start filling the e-visa application form. The form has several pages, so make sure you keep enough time aside to fill it with complete and accurate information. Any errors or misrepresentation of information could lead to delays or even rejection of your application.
You will need to provide your personal details on the form, such as first name, last name, gender, marital status, occupation, residential address, and so on. Along with this, you also need to upload the digital passport-sized photograph mentioned earlier.
The final step of this process is to pay the visa fee. The total cost of the Saudi Arabia e-visa is SAR 463.44. The amount includes the medical insurance fee, transaction fee and 5% VAT. In case you face any medical emergency during your stay in Saudi Arabia, the health insurance policy will provide cover of up to SAR 100,000.
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country that strictly follows Islamic law. Although there has been some degree of relaxation in these laws, it still is a fairly conservative nation. Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, with arms, shoulders and knees covered at all times when they are in public.
Alcohol, pork, drugs and pornography are strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Those found smuggling or using such items can face penalties, imprisonment, deportation, or all of these. The punishment in case of drug trafficking can be as severe as the death penalty. Not even the Greece embassy in Riyadh would be able to help you in such situations.
In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to criticise the king, the royal family or the government. Such actions could attract the attention of the Saudi police or the mutawa. This is also true for any criticism on social media.
If you face any trouble during your stay in Saudi Arabia, it is a good idea to contact the Greece embassy in Riyadh. In case you are travelling to Saudi Arabia for the first time or are unsure about the visa process, take the help of a reputable agency, like Rapid Visa. We will ensure a completely hassle-free experience and take care of all your visa needs.