Saudi Arabia opens doors to Chinese tourists starting July

    Saudi Arabia is streamlining visa processes, lowering costs, and boosting flight capacity by over 130% to enhance the Chinese tourism experience.
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    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    Saudi Arabia will officially become a designated tourist destination for travelers from China starting on July 1, following extensive cooperation between the Saudi and Chinese tourism sectors.

    Efforts include streamlining visa processes, lowering costs, and boosting flight capacity by over 130% to enhance the Chinese tourist experience. Saudi airports, destinations, and tourist sites will feature Chinese language support, alongside the availability of convenient payment systems like UnionPay for Chinese visitors.

    As reported, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest tourism initiatives is the Red Sea Project. The region is being developed as part of Saudi Vision 2030, under the direction of the national government and local developers. By 2030, up to 8,000 new hotel rooms will open across 50 resorts, including The Four Seasons, Rosewood, and the St. Regis Red Sea Resort.

    The Saudi government has set a goal to welcome up to 5 million Chinese tourists by 2030. To achieve this ambitious objective, Saudi Arabia has increased the number of daily flights between China and Saudi Arabia, allowed Chinese travelers to apply for visas upon arrival, launched a Mandarin-language version of its travel website, and collaborated with leading travel agencies on marketing campaigns.

    Meanwhile, Chinese visitors to neighboring Dubai doubled over the first four months of 2024.

    Saud Hareb Al Mheiri, assistant manager of Dubai’s Department of Tourism, reported a significant increase in Chinese tourists visiting the city, with 620,000 overnight visitors in 2023.

    By April 2024, nearly 290,000 Chinese tourists had arrived, marking a 101% rise from the same period last year. China, previously Dubai’s fifth-largest tourist market before the pandemic, regained momentum after reopening borders, supported by Dubai’s visa-free policy and efforts to attract Chinese visitors.

    Direct flights from 14 Chinese cities and the widespread adoption of Alipay and WeChat further enhance Dubai’s appeal to Chinese tourists.

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