Dubai: Arab and Gulf tourists will soon have to pay a new visa fee to enter Egypt, according to a decision published in the Egyptian government gazette.
On its official social media channels, the UAE Embassy in Cairo announced that starting from March 21, 2021, tourists from Arab nations and the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) will be required to pay a visa fee of US $25, which is equivalent to Dh92.
On its official Twitter account, the UAE mission said: “The UAE Embassy want to inform nationals from Gulf countries and the states included in the League of Arab States that Egyptian authorities have imposed entry visa fees on all citizens of Arab countries, at an amount of US $25. Note that the decree will take effect from March 21, 2021.”
The 22 countries in the Arab League include: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE and Yemen.
The travel advisory from the UAE Embassy was made following the decision by Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfiq on visa fees for citizens of Arab countries visiting Egypt, which was published in the Egyptian government gazette.
The decision exempted nations that had previously signed exemption agreements with Egypt, but did not specify these countries.
Earlier in June 2020, Egypt said it imposed an entry visa fee on Gulf states, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, although the decision was not implemented at the time, and it was eventually cancelled and postponed until now.
A previous decision had also imposed entry visa fees on Qatari citizens, which was effective since November 2017.
Tourism in Egypt during COVID-19
Tourism is the main source of Egypt’s national income, and was hard-hit by the pandemic.
In an effort to boost Egypt’s vital tourism industry, authorities last September allowed travellers arriving at airports in resort cities of Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Marsa Allam and Taba to undergo the PCR test at those airports for 30 dollars if they did not have a COVID-19 negative certificate.
All travellers, including Egyptians, are required to present a negative CPR test result to be allowed into Egypt. The test should be conducted 72 hours before arriving in the country. The Egyptian government earlier said the measure was taken due to recent increases in virus infections in several countries.
In Egypt, from January 3, 2020 to March 15, 2021, there have been 190,924 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 11,300 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation. As of March 3, 2021, a total of 1,315 vaccine doses have been administered.