Women aged 25 and above now may travel to Saudi Arabia without chaperon.

Citing a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Arab News reported on January 11 that women aged 25 and above can be granted a tourist visa to go to Saudi Arabia alone. 

This move signifies that it will not be necessary for women above 25 to travel with any family member or companion.

However, women under 25 must be accompanied by a family member.

According to Arab News, commenting on the initiative, Director General of the commission's licensing department, Omar Al-Mubarak, said, "The tourist visa will be a single-entry visa valid for a maximum of 30 days. This visa is added to those currently available in the Kingdom.  It is independent of work, visit, Hajj and Umrah visas.”

The SCTH reportedly added that the start of tourism visa issuance would be announced during the first quarter of 2018.

The Tourism Visa Initiative is meant to revive the previous tourist visa system to enable visitors to discover new destinations in the Saudi Arabia, to boost the tourism sector and to develop tourism and heritage services and facilities in the country.

The aim is reportedly also to create more jobs for citizens and reduce the seasonal nature of international tourism with a religious basis during the Umrah and Hajj seasons.

The initiative is part of the National Transformation Program 2020, and falls within the framework of the commission’s efforts to achieve Vision 2030, which gives much attention to the tourism industry.