Manama: All citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will be granted visas upon arrival in Azerbaijan starting February 1, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has said.

Under the new procedures, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, Omanis, Qataris and Saudis will be given the entry visa when they land in the Asian country. They now join the citizens of the UAE, who have been enjoying the facility since November 10.

“From February 1, facilitation of visa procedures in all international airports of the Republic of Azerbaijan will be applied to the citizens of Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore,” the foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The decision aims “to increase people-to-people contacts and promote tourist visits and business ties in regard with the tasks given by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socio-economic development of the first half of 2015 and objectives for the future,” the ministry said.

Azerbaijan's normal procedure requires foreigners to obtain a visa from one of its diplomatic missions ahead of traveling.