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Saturday June 22, 2024

Gulf countries announce unified Schengen style visa

'Grand Visa' will allow tourists to travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Bahrain

By Web Desk
May 22, 2024
GCCs Schengen-style visa to boost tourism and increase revenue. — Hotelier Middle East/File
GCC's Schengen-style visa to boost tourism and increase revenue. — Hotelier Middle East/File

In a landmark move, six Gulf countries have joined hands to introduce a Schengen-like unified "Grand Visa," which will let tourists travel from one Gulf country to another without having to obtain another visa.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced the launch of a single tourist visa, which will be available by the end of 2024, Travel and Tour reported.

The announcement was made during the 40th meeting of GCC ministers in Oman.

Travellers obtaining this visa will have unrestricted access to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.

This visa is intended to promote and grow the tourism sector in the area and enhance greater collaboration among like-minded countries.

In addition, it will also give these oil-dependent countries a chance to increase revenue from non-oil sectors.

As per reports, the Grand Visa will allow tourists a minimum of a 30-day visa.

Abdullah Al Saleh, undersecretary for the Ministry of Economy, said during the panel discussion that "all GCC countries have one common market and unified policies. In the tourism sector, the GCC can benefit from both supply and demand sides by having umbrella regulations, policies, and procedures to facilitate growth.

"Now, with the increased flow of people among the GCC, it is becoming smoother with time."