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Updated July 2023
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attracts millions of tourists annually with its awe-inspiring desert landscapes, state-of-the-art modern attractions like the Red Sea Project and Amaala, and rich cultural tapestry. Saudi Arabia being a neighbour to the UAE makes it a great destination for Emiratis for quick weekend getaways, long vacations, as well as religious pilgrimages like Umrah.
If you’re looking to obtain a Saudi visa from the UAE, here’s everything you need to know.
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Saudi Arabia visit visa for UAE residents latest news
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made an important announcement regarding the process of obtaining visas from its missions located in seven countries, including the UAE. Recently, the Saudi government announced that it has decided to replace the traditional stickers placed on passports with QR codes for data reading purposes.
As per the directives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this new regulation has been implemented in the Saudi missions of the United Arab Emirates and other 6 countries since 1 May. This move is in line with the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to digitize consular services and streamline the process of obtaining various types of visas, including work, residence, and visit visas.
Do UAE residents need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia?
Whether UAE residents require a Saudi visa depends on their nationality. The Saudi government allows citizens of GCC countries, including the UAE, to enter without a visa and may use National ID cards to enter the Kingdom. However, UAE residents of other nationalities may need to obtain a Saudi visa to visit the country.
Types of Saudi visit visa for UAE residents
Foreign residents of the UAE can now apply for a Saudi visa to enter the Kingdom on the Visit Saudi online portal for Saudi e-visa for tourism and Umrah regardless of profession. The following are the types of available Saudi visas for UAE residents
Saudi Arabia offers different types of visit visas depending on the purpose of the visit.
The Saudi Tourist Visa (Saudi e-Visa) is an entry authorization document allowing foreign nationals to enter Saudi Arabia for non-essential and non-religious purposes.
The Saudi Tourist Visa is a one-year, multiple-entry electronic visa that allows tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country. It covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding the Hajj season) and excludes other activities such as studying.
If you are visiting Saudi Arabia for business purposes, including attending meetings, conferences or other events, you need a business visa. This can be a single or multiple-entry visa.
An Umrah Visa is an official document designed to facilitate Muslims wishing to embark on Makkah on a minor pilgrimage known as the Umrah.
Two kinds of Umrah visas may be available to you depending on your country of origin, namely the Umrah Visa and the Umrah e-visa. Both Umrah visas are valid for two weeks.
For the Umrah season of 1445 AH, the kingdom announced several offers for pilgrims to make their visit convenient. The Ministry listed out many options like the transit visit visa, family visit visa, personal visit visa, and visa-on-arrival.
— Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (@MoHU_En) July 19, 2023
We covered the details of personal and family visit visas above. You can also apply for a transit visa to perform Umrah, the details of which are below. Note that visa on arrival facility is not extended to citizens of UAE.
Pilgrims who are arriving by plane can use the transit visit visa. On this visa, pilgrims can not only perform the rituals of Umrah but can also visit the Prophet’s Mosque.
The visa allows for a four-day stay in the Kingdom and is valid for 90 days, is free of charge and is immediately issued upon purchasing an airline ticket.
Pilgrims can reserve a ticket and submit a visa application through the official websites of Saudi Airlines or Flynas.
For more details on Umrah pilgrimage from UAE, refer to our dedicated article below.
Family visit visa
The Family Visit Visa is given to the immediate family members of the legal residents or citizens of Saudi Arabia who are living outside of KSA to visit their families in the Kingdom.
A Family Visit Visa can only be issued to immediate family members such as:
- Father-in-law and mother-in-law
- Husband or wife
- Brothers or Sisters and their families (wives/husbands and their children)
It is worth noting that a person can now perform Umrah on a family visit visa. However, they need to make sure to book an appointment through the Nusuk platform.
Personal visit visa
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a new entry visa dubbed the Personal Visitor Visa. This visit visa allows foreign nationals to enter the country via an invitation from their Saudi friends or acquaintances.
With the Saudi Personal Visit Visa, holders may:
- freely visit the country
- travel across the Kingdom
- visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and other religious sites
- perform Umrah
- take part in cultural events
To apply for the Saudi Personal visit visa, Saudi citizens must:
- visit the eVisa platform of the ministry’s website at https://visa.mofa.gov.sa.
- go to the “Individual Service” section of the eVisa platform
- log in through the Nafadh unified national platform
- fill out the data of the invitees by requesting a personal visit
- approve the necessary undertakings
The request will then be processed, and a Personal visit visa will be issued. The data can be viewed through the “invitation request” query service.
For more information on the types of visit visas Saudi Arabia offers, check out our dedicated article.
Saudi visit visa validity for UAE residents
The single-entry visit visa is valid for three months from the date of issuance, and the permissible period of stay is 30 days.
The multiple-entry visit visa is valid for one year from the date of issuance, and the permissible period of stay is 90 days.
Saudi visit visa processing time for UAE residents
It takes 2-3 business days to get the Saudi e-visa processed from the UAE.
Saudi visit visa cost for UAE residents
The cost for the eVisa is SAR 300 (approximately AED 295) plus fees for full health insurance.
Please note that the visa application fee is non-refundable.