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UAE, GCC approve unified tourist visa

Countries under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have unanimously approved a unified tourist visa system, the GCC Secretary General announced.

The unified tourist visa system is expected to come into effect between 2024 to 2025 across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. The system works like a Schengen Visa and allows tourists to visit all countries in the GCC using a single tourist visa.

GCC Secretary General Jassim Al Budaiwi, at the 40th meeting of GCC interior ministers in Oman, said the unified tourist visa is expected to have a positive impact on the economic and tourist sectors.

“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 [impact] on the economic and tourist sectors,” Al Budaiwi said.

The strategy intends to boot the number of visitors to the GCC to 128.7 million by 2030. Last year, a total of 39.8 million people visited the GCC, reflecting a 137 percent increase. ICA/Expat Media

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