Welcome to the TravelPod forums
This is the place where TravelPod bloggers exchange travel tips with each other. Have a question? Ask one of our Local Experts by clicking "new topic" in any category.

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Latest Visa Rules?, Hoping to Visit.
heatheravan
post Feb 16 2011, 02:15 AM
Post #1


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 8
Joined: 1-June 06
Member No.: 1302




Does anyone know the latest deal on getting into Saudi? My Questions are:
1. Apparently a Visa is only issued for tour groups or transit. Any ideas as to who conducts tours into Saudi? budget minded.
2. Can a local guide act as a tour guide? if so anyone have contacts?
3. If using a transit visa can you enter and leave from the same country? We would be comming from UAE where our daughter is a resident and will accompany us?

Any help appreciated. Cheers
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
yoda9999
post Feb 16 2011, 03:27 AM
Post #2


Wanderer
*

Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 22-October 09
Member No.: 450461




QUOTE(heatheravan @ Feb 16 2011, 02:15 AM) *

Does anyone know the latest deal on getting into Saudi? My Questions are:
1. Apparently a Visa is only issued for tour groups or transit. Any ideas as to who conducts tours into Saudi? budget minded.
2. Can a local guide act as a tour guide? if so anyone have contacts?
3. If using a transit visa can you enter and leave from the same country? We would be comming from UAE where our daughter is a resident and will accompany us?

Any help appreciated. Cheers



KSA halted inbound non-Muslim tourism sometime in 2010. I was there in early 2010, and heard about the ban in September. I emailed our tour guide, and he couldn't say much about it. I just emailed him again to get the latest update, and will post here when I get his response.

Only tourist companies authorized by the Saudi government are allowed to send tourists. Tours have to be government sanctioned, and they MUST be group tours. We had police convoys escorting us from city to city. I used Bestway Tours and Safari. Tours start at around $4500 per person. All others I've seen are in the $7000 to $12000 range. All tours have some minimum people required, like 7 people, or its no-go.

Saudi tour guides are Saudi government approved. They will choose the guide for your tour. Of course, I was so happy that we got a real Saudi citizen to be our guide.

From Lonely Planet Thorntree, I heard that a transit visa is impossible unless you have a dire need to go through the kingdom and have no other option. So, even if you go from UAE to, say Kuwait, you cannot, unless you have some emergency reason.

Saudi Arabia is one of the hardest countries to get into. Tourism, in the popular sense, is in an experimental phase. There are no budget tours there, unless it's for expat workers. The Saudi government needs your tour fully monitored and escorted, have security, etc, etc. Remember, the Saudi government is paranoid about your presence and safety. All the tour companies need a minimum number of poeple to make it profitable, and the tour prices are astronomical. It took me a few years to find a tour that had enough people. I remember an Australian tour company that tried to sell a Saudi tour, but not enough people wanted to go.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
yoda9999
post Feb 16 2011, 11:38 AM
Post #3


Wanderer
*

Group: Members
Posts: 11
Joined: 22-October 09
Member No.: 450461




so my guide in Saudi says the ban is still in effect, and hopes it will be lifted in 6-8 months.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
kdaniel7979
post Mar 16 2011, 03:37 PM
Post #4


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: 28-February 11
Member No.: 1767561




QUOTE(heatheravan @ Feb 16 2011, 02:15 AM) *

Does anyone know the latest deal on getting into Saudi? My Questions are:
1. Apparently a Visa is only issued for tour groups or transit. Any ideas as to who conducts tours into Saudi? budget minded.
2. Can a local guide act as a tour guide? if so anyone have contacts?
3. If using a transit visa can you enter and leave from the same country? We would be comming from UAE where our daughter is a resident and will accompany us?

Any help appreciated. Cheers


I have just got my transit visa to travel through Saudi from Qatar to Jordan, took two days. My over all plan is a 7,000km drive from Qatar to Holland. It's basically a 3 day drive through visa.

Since I was told that the embassy didn't take applications direct, I went to the embassy to find one of the guys working for an agency. I would start there.

Today my colleague told me that he drove 4,000km around Saudi last year over a couple of weeks. Out and back from Qatar.

Good luck.
User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
heatheravan
post Mar 17 2011, 10:02 PM
Post #5


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 8
Joined: 1-June 06
Member No.: 1302




QUOTE(kdaniel7979 @ Mar 16 2011, 03:37 PM) *

QUOTE(heatheravan @ Feb 16 2011, 02:15 AM) *

Does anyone know the latest deal on getting into Saudi? My Questions are:
1. Apparently a Visa is only issued for tour groups or transit. Any ideas as to who conducts tours into Saudi? budget minded.
2. Can a local guide act as a tour guide? if so anyone have contacts?
3. If using a transit visa can you enter and leave from the same country? We would be comming from UAE where our daughter is a resident and will accompany us?

Any help appreciated. Cheers


I have just got my transit visa to travel through Saudi from Qatar to Jordan, took two days. My over all plan is a 7,000km drive from Qatar to Holland. It's basically a 3 day drive through visa.

Since I was told that the embassy didn't take applications direct, I went to the embassy to find one of the guys working for an agency. I would start there.

Today my colleague told me that he drove 4,000km around Saudi last year over a couple of weeks. Out and back from Qatar.

Good luck.

User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
heatheravan
post Mar 17 2011, 10:10 PM
Post #6


Newbie


Group: Members
Posts: 8
Joined: 1-June 06
Member No.: 1302




Thanks Yoda 9999 and kdaniel7979 for your input, all good info, back to us to see what we can do. Cheers Avan & Heather.


QUOTE(heatheravan @ Mar 17 2011, 10:02 PM) *

QUOTE(kdaniel7979 @ Mar 16 2011, 03:37 PM) *

QUOTE(heatheravan @ Feb 16 2011, 02:15 AM) *

Does anyone know the latest deal on getting into Saudi? My Questions are:
1. Apparently a Visa is only issued for tour groups or transit. Any ideas as to who conducts tours into Saudi? budget minded.
2. Can a local guide act as a tour guide? if so anyone have contacts?
3. If using a transit visa can you enter and leave from the same country? We would be comming from UAE where our daughter is a resident and will accompany us?

Any help appreciated. Cheers


I have just got my transit visa to travel through Saudi from Qatar to Jordan, took two days. My over all plan is a 7,000km drive from Qatar to Holland. It's basically a 3 day drive through visa.

Since I was told that the embassy didn't take applications direct, I went to the embassy to find one of the guys working for an agency. I would start there.

Today my colleague told me that he drove 4,000km around Saudi last year over a couple of weeks. Out and back from Qatar.

Good luck.


User is offlinePM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic

 


- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 25th July 2014 - 08:16 PM
Top Hotel Destinations in Saudi Arabia

Abha Hotels
Al Ahsa Hotels
Al Jubail Hotels
Al Khobar Hotels
Al Ula Hotels
Bukayriah Hotels
Buraidah Hotels
Dammam Hotels
Dhahran Hotels
Ha'il Hotels
Hafr Al Batin Hotels
Jeddah Hotels
Khamis Mushait Hotels
Mecca Hotels
Medina Hotels
Nejran Hotels
Riyadh Hotels
Tabouk Hotels
Taif Hotels
Yanbu Hotels



Copyright © 1997 - 2011 TravelPod.com, a proud founder of travel blogs on the web. All Rights Reserved.