Muscat: Tourists can now enter Oman for ten days with a visa that will cost only five riyals, according to a decree issued by the Royal Oman Police. Tourists were earlier required to pay 20 riyals whether they stayed back for five days or a month.

The move aims to boost the tourism sector as the country looks to diversify its economy and increase investment in the tourism sector.

The Inspector General of Police and Customs issued decision No. 129/2018 amending some of the provisions of the executive regulations of the Aliens Residence Law.

Two new visa fees have been added to the list of entry visas in Article 29 of the regulation on Residence Law 63/96.

According to Article 9 of the decree, “The fee for visa transfer application is 50 riyals, non-refundable.”

The second addition is a “5 riyals” fee for a 10-day tourist visa. The amendments provide for tourist visas in three categories, of 10 days, one month and one year.

Ahmad Al Mashari, who runs a tourist agency in Muscat, told Gulf News that the move will help attract more tourists to the country. “I think such a move will boost the tourism sector especially with the ongoing Khareef season in Dhofar governorate,” he said.

Ahmad Junaid, a British tourist, said: “It’s great news to hear that Oman cut visa fee down to 5 riyals. Oman is one of my favourite tourist destinations. This is the fifth times I have visited the country.”

Tourism in Oman grew by almost 5 per cent in 2017, according to recent figures published by the Ministry of Tourism.

In 2016, Oman approved the National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which aims for a 6 per cent rise in the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) and a target of five million visitors by 2040 — roughly double the current number tourists visiting annually (2.7 million).