Can Saudi citizens still fly to Syria’s Damascus?

people arriving at the departures area of Damascus' international airport on April 14, 2013. (AFP)

Travel agencies in eastern Saudi Arabia are still in business providing packages to Syria’s Damascus worth $1,300 (SAR 5,000) for two-week vacations.

These travel agencies offer two routes to reach Damascus, the first through direct flights from a Gulf country and landing in Damascus International Airport.

The second route would be to flight directly and land in Lebanon’s Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport and then travelling to Damascus on land, which is only 113 km away.

The travel agencies in question say they are not breaking the law since Syrian customs do not stamp any visitor’s passport on arrival, according to Saudi daily newspaper Okaz. Instead, officials stamp a separate paper, similar to practice by Israeli customs.

Currently, Saudi citizens are not allowed to travel to Syria “given that it is one of the countries which we have deemed on the no-travel list” according to Saudi Passport General Department.

Saudi citizens are also banned from travelling to Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Thailand and Yemen.

*This article also appears on AlArabiya.Net.

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Last Update: 10:21 KSA 13:21 - GMT 10:21
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