Details of new Saudi e-visa system announced

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al-Saud, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, talks to Brazilian former Formula One racing driver Felipe Mass during the announcement of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh. — File photo

RIYADH —Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (GSA) on Sunday announced details of its new electronic visa system, Sharek, which has gone live and will allow international motor racing fans to travel to the Kingdom for the Dec. 15 Formula E race, the Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix near Riyadh.

Via, travelers who buy a ticket for the race can obtain a 14-day visa for SR640, the equivalent of approximately $170.

That allows for full entrance to the event and free mobility within specific Saudi territories.

Applicants simply need to complete their personal details online, upload a photograph and a copy of their passport, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will then confirm eligibility within seconds. After payment, the visa will be emailed to the international traveler and this can be printed and used to enter Saudi Arabia.

Tickets for the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix start from SR395 for a seat in the grandstand and concert access and are available at International travelers are limited to one ticket per visa.

“Saudi Arabia is very excited to be inviting international tourists into the Kingdom for the first time as tickets for the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix go on sale via its new visa platform Sharek,” GSA said in a statement.

Described as a ‘milestone’ for Saudi Arabia, has gone live. In a first move to open its borders to international visitors, GSA announced last Tuesday the launch of Sharek.

The platform offers a seamless ticket purchase and

online visa application process for sporting fans from around the world.

With the tickets for the Dec. 15 event now on sale, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al-Saud, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, said: “This is an exciting milestone for us. When you host international championships, you have international fans who want to attend. And, of course, the best way to see Saudi Arabia is to visit through sports. This isn’t just the first way, it is the best way.

“I want them to see Saudi Arabia, I want them to see my country, I want them to meet the people and to see who we really are.“

Princess Haifa Al-Saud, secretary general of the Formula E local organizing committee, said: “For the first time we get to show the world what Saudi Arabia is really about from the inside, to see our youth, to feel the energy that we have, to understand us more, our culture, our tradition, our background. — SG