Gulf Cooperation Council GCC

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has unanimously approved the introduction of a common tourist visa, akin to the Schengen visa in Europe.

This decision, announced by Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrooqi, Oman’s Minister of Heritage and Tourism, came after a regional ministers’ meeting in Oman on October 5.

The new visa system aims to simplify travel within the GCC region, although an official implementation date is yet to be announced. Initially, the visa proposal will be discussed in November at a meeting of regional interior ministers in Muscat.

Once all mechanisms are set, the unified GCC tourism visa will be rolled out, allowing tourists to visit all six GCC states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – with a single visa. Abdulla bin Touq, the UAE’s Minister of Economy, emphasized that this visa would not only ease travel but also significantly enhance tourism across the GCC.