The once off-limits oil kingdom will welcome tourists in 2018.
The closed corners of the world continue to open.
Saudi Arabia has long allowed entry only to those traveling on work or visiting holy sites. No more. The reclusive kingdom plans to begin extending tourist visas in 2018.
The party responsible for the policy reversal? The enigmatic Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Yes, the same guy who recently jailed dozens of corrupt high-level Saudi officials in a Ritz-Carlton.
This mandate is the latest affirmation of his commitment to a national rebranding, tracing back to the “Saudi Vision 2030” he unveiled over a year ago. That ambitious plan, which proposes a new $500 billion metropolis, 100 miles of Red Sea resort development and even a freaking Six Flags, aims to eschew the nation’s dependence on oil and diversify the economy.