Saudi Arabia opens doors to New Zealand tourists, relaxes clothing rules for women

More Kiwis may be curious about heading to Saudi Arabia after it introduced a newly developed visa system for 49 nations.

New Zealanders wanting to holiday in the kingdom may be in luck as it's opened its gates to tourism for the first time.

The nation made the announcement on Friday, saying tourism would create one million jobs.

Previously, only those from the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain could freely enter Saudi Arabia, Gulf News reports.

"Visitors will be delighted by the treasures we have to share," said a statement from Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage chairman Ahmad Al Khateeb.

"Opening Saudi Arabia to international tourists is a historic moment for our country," Al Khateeb said, according to Gulf News.

Women visitors will not have to wear abayas, but will still have to dress "modestly", Gulf News reports.

The abaya is a long cloak worn by many women in Saudi Arabia. Though not compulsory, there is considerable pressure on women to cover up.