Unified Visa For Gulf Countries Soon To Be A Reality

Gulf Cooperation Council member states have given the nod to a unified tourist visa, allowing tourists to travel across Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE on a single tourist visa
Doha's skyline
Doha's skylineTTstudio on Shutterstock.com

Tourists will now be able to travel across GCC countries on just one tourist visa. In a significant move aimed at facilitating travel within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), member states have recently given the nod to a unified tourist visa. This landmark decision allows tourists to seamlessly traverse countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a single tourist visa. The announcement was made during the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Oman by Sayyed Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, the President of the current GCC session.

Al Mughsail Salalah, Sultanate of Oman
Al Mughsail Salalah, Sultanate of OmanEmranovic on Shutterstock,com

Revolutionising Travel

The unanimous approval of the unified tourism visa system marks a historic milestone for the region. GCC Secretary General Jassim Al Budaiwi revealed that the system is slated to come into effect by 2024-25 across all six nations. This move is expected to revolutionise travel logistics within the region, fostering greater connectivity and collaboration among member states.

According to Al Budaiwi, the decision reflects the commitment to continuous communication and coordination between the GCC states. The unified Gulf tourist visa is positioned as a project that will significantly ease and streamline the movement of residents and tourists among the six GCC countries. This, in turn, is anticipated to have a positive impact on both the economic and tourist sectors of the participating nations.

The GCC's focus on enhancing collaboration goes beyond tourism. In addition to the unified tourist visa, the council has approved the electronic linking of traffic offences between member states. This strategic move aims to create a more cohesive approach to managing traffic-related issues, fostering a sense of shared responsibility among the nations.

Furthermore, the GCC is actively addressing broader societal challenges. As part of its comprehensive strategy, the council is gearing up to combat illegal drugs. Jassim Al Budaiwi emphasised that this initiative aims to contribute significantly to the fight against the scourge of illegal drugs, underscoring the council's commitment to maintaining the well-being and safety of its citizens.

Outlook Traveller