The Schengen-style GCC common visa will launch before the year ends

The news was announced at Arabian Travel Market…

The GCC common visa has officially been approved. The major announcement was made just last night at the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers of the GCC.

The announcement was made by the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, who said the unified GCC tourist visa project represents a new achievement which is added to the accomplishments made by the Cooperation Council.

The historic meeting happened under the chairmanship of the Minister of Interior of Oman and the President of the current session, Sayyed Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, in the Omani capital, Muscat. During the meeting, one of the most notable topics of discussion was the implementation of the unified GCC tourist visa project within a specific timeframe.

According to Khaleej Times, the system to launch the unified GCC tourist visa is expected to be functional by the end of the year by the regional countries, said Khalid Jasim Al Midfa of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority (SCTDA) at the Arabian Travel Market on Monday.

“By the end of this year, the whole system will be in place. (We) are working day and night and e-service is a vital part of it. We don’t want to complicate things for people and also maintain the same security level. It will be a very good initiative and we will see a positive outcome for regional economies,” Al Midfa said during the panel discussion by the regional tourism chief.

In the interview, he stated that the roll-out of the GCC unified tourism visa would take place once specific regulations and legislation are developed. Subject to all the country’s internal systems being ready, it’s set to launch between 2024 and 2025.

The new visa will give visitors access to all six GCC states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, and of course, Saudi Arabia, with a single visa, making travel within the region even easier and helping boost tourism within the areas too.

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