Despite seeming close ties, Nigeria is not on Saudi Arabia’s index of 49 countries whose citizens will be able to get e-visa online as well as visa on arrival.
The list was released on Friday, four days after Adnan Mahmoud, Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Nigeria, spoke glowingly about how his country was keen on improving relationship with Nigeria.
Mahmoud spoke at the 89th National Day celebration of the Kingdom held in Abuja.
They envoy noted that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia had a deep history dating back to 1960.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria, a country with a lot of political and economic weight, has deep historical relations with Saudi Arabia since 1960.
“I can confirm that our two countries have had excellent relations based on friendship and mutual interest; our two countries agree on many regional and international affairs and we have cooperation in all fields.
“We look forward to improving these relations further and I wish the government and people of Nigeria more success, progress, peace and security under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari”, Mahmoud said.
It would also be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari was one of the leaders who condemned the September 15 drone attacks on the refinery plants at Khurais and Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia.
“The attackers of Saudi Arabia will win no friends in the international community for their actions – whoever they may be, and however certain they be in their cause,” Buhari said.
But in Ad-Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riyadh where Saudi Arabia announced the tourist visa launch, Nigeria was overlooked.
Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage, in his remarks, said: “For the first time, we are opening our country to tourists from all over the world.
“To those thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia, you won’t find a warmer welcome anywhere in the world. And you won’t find a people prouder to share the riches of their land with you.
“Saudi Arabia is opening. We are opening our economy. We are opening our society. Now we open our home and open our hearts to guests from around the world. Come, visit Saudi. And let us welcome you to Arabia.”
Revealing the 49 countries, the commission explained that the tourist visa allows for a stay of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend up to 90 days a year.
However, Nigerians and others that didn’t make the cut can – for the first time ever – apply for a tourist visa at Saudi Embassies and Consulates in their respective countries.
Full list of countries to enjoy e-visa and visa on arrival service:
China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan)