Gulf nations introduce a single Schengen-style visa for visitors

In a major update, six Gulf countries have joined forces to introduce a new unified tourist visa called the “Grand Visa.” This Schengen-like visa lets tourists visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, and Bahrain without needing separate visas for each country. This move aims to boost tourism and strengthen cooperation among these Gulf nations.

What is the Grand Visa?

The Grand Visa is a single tourist visa that will be available by the end of 2024. This visa will enable tourists to move freely between the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, and Bahrain.

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Benefits of the Grand Visa

  • Boosting Tourism

By making it easier to travel between these countries, the Grand Visa is expected to attract more tourists to the region.

  • Economic Growth

This visa aims to increase revenue from the tourism sector, reducing the reliance on oil.

  • Greater Collaboration

This initiative will help the GCC countries work together better and create a unified plan for tourism.

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Key Features

  • Unrestricted Access

Tourists can travel freely within the six GCC countries without applying for multiple visas.

  • Duration

The visa will be valid for a minimum of 30 days.

  • Ease of Travel

This move simplifies travel plans, making it more appealing for international tourists to explore the Gulf region.

Official Announcement

The announcement happened at the 40th meeting of GCC ministers in Oman. Abdullah Al Saleh, the undersecretary for the Ministry of Economy, talked about the benefits of this new visa. He said that the GCC countries have a common market and shared policies, which will make it easier to grow the tourism sector.

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“Now, with the increased flow of people among the GCC, it is becoming smoother with time,” said Al Saleh during the panel discussion.

The Grand Visa will change travel in the Gulf region. By the end of 2024, tourists can visit six countries with just one visa. This will make traveling easier and more appealing. The visa will help bring more tourists, improve the economy, and encourage cooperation among the Gulf countries. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new visa!