A surprise regarding the new unified entry visa between the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

The countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have moved one step closer to implementing a game-changing visa in the style of Schengen in an effort to increase tourism in the region.

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Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, the Minister of Heritage and Tourism of Oman, made the announcement that the unified visa has been accepted unanimously during a meeting of GCC ministers that took place in Muscat the week prior.

A traveler only needs one visa to visit any of the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait, During the course of the previous few months, a number of ministers and high-ranking officials from Gulf countries, including those from the UAE, have disclosed that the unified visa will "soon" be implemented.

The long-awaited visa will, in addition to helping regional economies, result in the creation of additional prospects for employment, The following is the current state of our knowledge regarding the unified tourist visa:

What does it mean to have a unified GCC visa?

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is looking at the possibility of instituting a visa system that is analogous to the Schengen visa, which allows travelers to travel freely within all of the European countries that are part of the Schengen area.

At the moment, visitors must get visas for each of the six Gulf countries individually, despite the fact that air travel and road travel connect all of the destinations.

How exactly will the plan be beneficial?

A senior official from the UAE stated back in May of this year that a unified package for travelers wanting to visit many GCC nations would be beneficial, particularly for those traveling a great distance, In addition to increasing the amount of money tourists spend, the plan will also cause visitors to remain in the area for longer.

When will applications for the visa be accepted?

According to reports from Omani media, Minister Mahrouqi was cited as saying that the program would be implemented "very soon," There was no mention of a timetable, but the Oman Observer stated that it will be discussed at a gathering of regional interior ministers in Muscat in the month of November.

What exactly does the plan entail here?

When fully operational, the concept may enable GCC nations to participate in coordinated public relations efforts, Officials had previously discussed the possibility of establishing a shared booking system and a combined website for tourism.

Are citizens of GCC nations eligible to submit an application for the visa?

At the moment, people of GCC countries are able to travel freely between member states without needing a visa, It is not immediately clear if expatriates who now reside in these countries would be required to apply for the unified visa once it is introduced or whether they will be able to do so. However, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates, stated a month ago that the GCC is currently exploring a single visa system that will allow its nationals to travel freely between member states.

How many different countries are you able to enter with this visa?

Those who have a valid visa would be permitted to travel to any of the six GCC countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

How much will the visa cost, and how long will it be valid for?

The cost of the visa as well as the length of time it is valid for have not been disclosed as of yet, By the end of the year, additional information should have been disclosed to the public.

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