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Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia introduced a new free Stopover Visa for those transiting through the kingdom onboard either Saudia or Flynas.

The Stopover Visa will allow passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours, and will be automatically available through the airline’s booking platforms for all passengers traveling to their final destination on Saudia or Flynas airlines.

The application process can be completed in under three minutes and can be applied for up to 90 days before travel.

Holders of this visa will be also eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during their stopover if they are flying using the country’s national carrier of Saudia.

The visa is available for both business and leisure travel purposes. Additionally, the Stopover Visa can also be used for travellers perform the Umrah too. However, those seeking to perform the Umrah must register for it through the Nusuk platform.

Custom 24-, 48-, 72- and 96-hour itineraries have also been developed to help transiting passengers get the most of their visit including experiences such a walk through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, or a visit the Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, one of Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “[The] announcement of Saudi’s inaugural Stopover Visa is a landmark example of integrated public and private sector cooperation. Four of the top ten global routes were in or out of Saudi airports in 2022.”

Saudi Arabia says that in the first quarter of this year, it expects airline capacity into Saudi Arabia to grow by over 65 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. The country aims to achieve 100 million visits annually by 2030.