Israelis denied visas to Saudi Arabia despite World Cup claims of automatic access

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Those holding a Hayya Card for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar can secure a visa to nearby Saudi Arabia free of charge, yet it seems that Israelis are excluded.

According to the Saudi Arabian tourism website, “Holders of the Hayya Card will be able to apply for their visas online and book a trip to the authentic home of Arabia with confidence, before, during, and after the World Cup, without having to enter Doha first.”

“All Hayya Card holders are eligible for the Saudi visa,” the website continues, “providing an opportunity to bring friends and family to visit Saudi with Hayya 1+3.”

However, when Israelis attempt to apply, they are either met with an error upon entering their country, or the website doesn’t work for them at all. However, the website is reportedly able to be reached in Israel through a VPN.

Ronen, from the central Israeli of Petah Tikva, works in the tourism industry and said he was only planning a World Cup trip “because it’s a unique opportunity to visit Qatar.”

He also planned to visit neighboring Saudi Arabia but said he could not because of his nationality.

“There was an error on the Saudi visa website when I inserted my name and nationality. But if I write that I have a Danish passport, all of a sudden, the website works perfectly,” he stated.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal ties, although there have been attempts in recent months to get the two countries to normalize relations.

In July, Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to “all air carriers,” allowing Israeli flights over its territory – in what many called a step toward normalization.

Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.





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