Albania waives entry visa for Saudis
Saudi nationals no longer need a visa to enter Albania this summer as the southeastern European country with a predominantly Muslim population has abolished entry visas for Saudis for the period starting from May 25 to Sept. 25 in order to boost tourism in their country.
“The government of the Republic of Albania took a decision to abolish the entry visa for Saudi citizens for the summer period starting from May 25 until Sept. 25, 2014,” Saimir Bala, charge d’affairs at the embassy of Albania here, said on Monday.
“We hope to facilitate the Saudi citizens to visit the Republic of Albania and to enjoy the natural beauties of the Albanian landscape,” he added.
He expressed the hope that this visa waiver program strongly backed by the Albanian government will boost business and tourism between Saudi Arabia and Albania.
He further said that the decision to abolish the entry visa to the Republic of Albania is also valid for the citizens of Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman.
According to statistics, Saudis tourists spent a whopping SR40 billion last summer with Dubai remaining the favorite tourist destination. However, a huge number of Saudis also travel abroad to Europe during the summer season.
Albania is a famous place where the Ionian and Adriatic coasts carry the marks of ancient civilizations, making it a prime tourism destination.
Moreover, the tourism sector in Albania has reported consistent growth over the past few years with tourism accounting for approximately 11 percent of Albania’s GDP.
The two countries share cordial relations and several aid agencies from the Kingdom have extended support and soft loan facilities such as the signing of a deal with the Islamic
Development Bank (IDB) to finance the construction of the $373 million (SR1.4 billion) Tirana-Elbasan Highway Project.
The two countries were also in talks over the proposal to finance the construction of Albania’s Parliament building.