The 15-month old travel ban Saudi Arabia imposed on Lebanon in November 2017 following security concerns, has been lifted off following the latest government formation.
A flock of Gulf tourists is expected to flood the country again this summer, with good relations re-established with the Arabic Kingdom, which recently announced at the Cedar Conference in Paris in April 2018 $1 billion of investments for Lebanese projects.
The UAE, Qatar, and Bahrein still ban their citizens from visiting the country ever since mid-2012 Syrian turmoil. This has contributed to a steep fall in the number of Arab tourists visiting Lebanon and has deepened our economic crisis.
According to data from Lebanon’s Bankmed, from over 191,000 Saudi and nearly 47,000 Emirati visitors in 2010, only around 40,000 Saudis and 7,500 Emiratis visited in 2013. Jordanians’ numbers fell from around 275,000 in 2010 to 73,000 in 2014. The latest economic and touristic report issued on August 31, 2018 can be found here.
The intention was made by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari back on December 27, 2018, and took effect on February 13, 2019 following a meeting between royal court envoy Nizar al-Aloula, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and himself, and President Michel Aoun later on:
Given the fact that the security reasons that prompted Saudi Arabia to warn its citizens against travelling to Lebanon no longer exist, and based on the assurances that the Kingdom received from the Lebanese government about the stability of the security situation, and its permanent keenness on the security of the Saudi citizens, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifts its warning to its citizens traveling to the Lebanon, whether from the Kingdom or from any other country.
This news promises that the summer will hopefully be good this year. Fingers crossed for more stability in the region.