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Schengen-like visas for Gulf nations? Check out new unified tourist visa policy for UAE, Qatar, Oman, others


In a bid to simplify travel logistics and boost tourism, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have recently approved a unified tourist visa that will allow people to travel across member states such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This was announced by GCC President Sayyed Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi during the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers. 

Accordingly, GCC Secretary General Jassim Al Budaiwi announced, the GCC states unanimously endorsed a unified tourism visa system set to launch in 2024-25, making travel across Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE more convenient.

The decision is expected to streamline travel logistics and underpins the “continuous communication and co-ordination between the GCC states,” he said, as reported by CNBC TV18

“The unified Gulf tourist visa is a project that will contribute to facilitating and streamlining the movement of residents and tourists between the six GCC countries and will, undoubtedly, have a positive on the economic and tourist sectors,” Budaiwi said.

He further added, council has approved the electronic linking of traffic offenses across GCC states and is developing a comprehensive anti-drug strategy to combat drug-related issues

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Updated: 09 Nov 2023, 10:25 PM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.