Unified GCC Tourist Visa for All Gulf Countries

A GCC Grand Tours visa, scheduled to be available from the end of 2024, has been announced by the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. With it, travellers will be able to tour all six Gulf countries in the same go.

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By Mrinal
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The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf announces its own GCC Grand Tours visa, just like the EU's Schengen visa

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The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf has announced its own GCC Grand Tours visa which will be valid in all six countries of the Gulf namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

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Great news for travellers - one unified visa for the entire Gulf!

Akin to the Schengen visa offered by the European Union, the GCC Grand Tours visa targets the intention of attracting more tourists to the Gulf by allowing them ease of movement and travel within the neighbouring countries. The plan suggests that the visa be made available to the public before 2024 is over. “By the end of this year, the whole system should be in place. Many people and teams, led by the Ministry of Economy in the UAE and other ministries in other countries, are working on it tirelessly to make it happen in the best possible way,” said Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

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Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority

The visa will be valid for all six Gulf countries and will also allow the travellers to extend their stay for more than the usual 30 days. The newly announced visa will aim to boost the tourism economy of the area, setting it up as an ideal destination for vacations and leisure.

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The newly announced visa will boost tourism in all six Gulf countries

The announcement for the visa was made at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market. It was also mentioned that the work on it has been in the books since October 2023 when it was unanimously approved by the states in GCC. UAE's Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri also hinted at the unified visa in April this year, showcasing its potential in marking the Gulf as the premiere destination site. Speaking on the topic now, he said, “In a significant move aimed at simplifying travel logistics and fostering tourism, the Gulf Cooperation Council has given the green light to a unified tourist visa that will allow travellers to visit all six countries. The GCC Grand Tours visa, that we are working on and aiming to finish, will allow tourists to spend more than 30 days in the region.”

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Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, UAE

According to various sources in UAE, the new unified visa plan could end up bringing in a total of 128.7 million visitors to the area by 2030, creating newer and better business opportunities for the local businesses as well as the established names settled in the area. Various tour companies have already started the work on creating wholesome packages that offer a tour of the entire region, luring in more and more customers. The governments of the countries are also said to be working closely with the private sector to implement needful changes and attract potential visitors.

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The unified visa could end up bringing in 128.7 million visitors to the area by 2030

The announcement comes as good news for Indians as UAE was their most visited travel destination in 2022, followed by the region’s own Saudi Arabia.

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