Saudi Arabia unveiled its latest initiative, the “KSA Visa” platform, aiming to simplify and expedite visa application procedures. The government’s move is part of a broader strategy to boost tourism in the coming years.
Unified Visa Platform ‘KSA Visa’
The “KSA Visa” platform is a centralized system connected to over 30 government agencies, ministries, and the private sector. It streamlines the process for obtaining various visas, including Hajj, Umrah, tourism, and work visas. This initiative aligns with the Kingdom’s goal to attract more visitors.
At the Digital Government Forum in Riyadh, Abdulhadi Almansouri, Assistant Minister for Executive Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the significance of the GOV.SA platform. This smart search engine empowers more than 50 government agencies and private sectors, automating crucial visa issuance procedures to enhance the overall visitor experience.
The GOV.SA platform acts as a unified reference, providing quick access to available visas and their requirements. Visitors can easily understand the application process and access an updated personal file, simplifying future visa applications.
Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Vision
The introduction of the “KSA Visa” platform aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader tourism vision, which includes the launch of new tourist destinations. The country aims to welcome 150 million annual visits by 2030, prompting efforts to facilitate the visa process and enhance the overall tourism experience.
GCC’s Unified Gulf Tourist Visa
Saudi Arabia’s announcement coincides with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) efforts to implement a unified Gulf tourist visa. The decision was approved at the Doha Summit in November, empowering interior ministers of GCC countries to take necessary measures for its implementation.
In 2023, Saudi Arabia issued more than 18.6 million visas, reducing the digital visa issuance time to an impressive 60 seconds. Collaborating with 56 countries, the Kingdom has been actively digitizing the visa process to attract a diverse range of visitors.
2024 Tourism Targets
As outlined in the 2024 general budget, Saudi Arabia aims to boost tourism spending to SR289 billion, achieve 88 million visitors, and create more employment opportunities in the tourism sector.
The Digital Government Forum also marks the announcement of the 2023 digital transformation results. Ahmed Alsuwaiyan, Governor of the Digital Government Authority, emphasized Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the digital transformation journey outlined in Vision 2030. This initiative aims to enhance the efficiency of digital services, improve beneficiary experiences, and elevate the overall quality of life while boosting competitiveness.