Saudi Arabia has decided to ease the conditions for foreign tourists to enter the country under a new online visa scheme. The new e-visa process platform known as ‘Sharek‘ will be introduced for the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix, the opening race to the 2018/19 Formula E Championship to be staged at the UNESCO heritage site on 15th December 2018.
Presently, only foreign resident workers, their close family members, business travelers and Muslim pilgrims can apply for the hard-to-get visa to travel to the conservative Muslim country.
The ancient historical city of Diriyah will host the biggest festival of racing, live music and entertainment ever witnessed in the country. It will also host the first bulk of foreign tourists that will enter the country with new e-visas to watch the shows. Global superstars will perform on stage and on the track over three days. Formula E stars including Felipe Massa, Susie Wolff and André Lotterer saw the new ‘Sharek’ platform launched as part of the country’s Vision2030 plan.
Organizers hope many international fans will take advantage of the new visa process and travel to the country to join the debut of Formula E in the Middle East. The Ad Diriyah E Prix will be the first-time foreign travelers can access Saudi Arabia in such a fast and uncomplicated process.
Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to sports and recreational tourism under the Vision2030, an ambitious program that aims to open up the society and diversify the economy. The transformation includes investment in boosting tourism of many kinds.