Saudi Arabia has approved new electronic visas for foreign visitors attending sporting events, concerts, and business attractions.
The decision will enable visitors to obtain a visa within 24 hours, Arab News reported.
Saudi’s governing bodies for sports, cultural and business events – General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority – will provide the government with details of upcoming events two months ahead of time, which will then be included in the new visa system.
Under its Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia has made diversifying the economy as a key pillar of its wide-ranging reforms.
Sports and entertainment in Saudi Arabia – from new cinemas to major international sporting events, like Formula E and European Tour golf – are attracting billions of dollars in investment.
The reforms undertaken by the kingdom’s authorities look to lift total spending — by locals and foreigners — from $27.9 billion in 2015 to $46.6 billion in 2020.
Saudi Arabia’s investment in entertainment infrastructure over the next ten years is expected to be $64 billion (SAR240bn), according to Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, which will generate 224,000 jobs by 2030, and boost the kingdom’s economy by $4.8bn (SAR18bn).
Saudi Arabia has seen approximately 500 entertainment-related companies establish themselves in the kingdom over the last year, according to Khaled Tash, the deputy governor for marketing and communication of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Originally published on www.arabianbusiness.com