The New Delhi Declaration: Tuesday, India reinstated electronic visa services for visitors from the Kingdom, and the country’s ambassador in Riyad said they hoped the move would increase people-to-people exchanges with Saudi Arabia.


The COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension of the electronic visa facility for all countries, including Saudi Arabia. This service was reinstated last week for Saudi citizens.

“It will boost people-to-people interactions, travel for businesses, and tourism,” Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, India’s ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News.

As the president put it, “this is a step in the right direction that strengthens our strategic partnership and strengthens our already cordial relations with Saudi Arabia.”

Before the 2019 pandemic, the Saudi government only started offering an electronic visa service.

Travel industry professionals in India applauded the government’s recent decision to streamline the issuance of tourist, business, medical, and conference visas to Saudi Arabian visitors.

Abhishek Sharma, owner of a travel agency in Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, told Arab News that he believes increased ease of travel between the two countries will help boost tourism and business.

According to Sharma, “India is also known for medical tourism,” and the revitalization of e-medical (visa) facilities can contribute to the expansion of the tourism sector.

The president of the Indian Association of Travel Agents, Jyoti Mayal, characterized the decision as “a huge success for inbound tourists.

Mayal told Arab News that the streamlined visa process would bring an increase in visitors in the most vital areas of the industry: leisure, medicine, business, and conferences.

She remarked that the decision would boost the Indian tourism industry and make it easier for Indians to travel to Saudi Arabia. Tourism can flourish only in an atmosphere where business is growing on both ends. Saudi Arabia has long been trying to attract visitors, and this arrangement allows visitors from both countries to act as unofficial “ambassadors” for one another.

As the South Asian nation of India has emerged as Saudi Arabia’s key tourism source market and is predicted to become the largest one by 2030, Saudi officials have been actively promoting the Kingdom as a leading destination for Indian visitors.

In February, the Saudi Tourism Authority held a roadshow and participated in a number of travel and trade shows across India, where it announced the opening of dedicated visa centers to make it easier for Indian tourists to visit the Kingdom.