I left it one month, for any issues to be ironed out, and then tested the new online Saudi tourist visa, using http://www.ivisa.com. On their website it says they are recommended by the BBC. That sounded good enough to me.
It was super easy. You only need to provide the usual details for tourist visas, including where you are staying, entry and exit date (no flight details though). I used an express service, ordering the tourist visa in the evening and it was in my inbox in the morning. Cost $120 for the visa and $75 for express processing.
The visa is valid for a year and allows for multi entry. You can stay up to 90 days each entry on the tourist visa.
This makes such an unbelievable difference ! Its a game changer. In the past it was a very complex process, requiring invitation letter, and could cost up to $1000 to process.
For more detail on the new rules see: