Cairo: A summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders, due next month in Doha, will unveil a unified tourist visa allowing the holder to travel across the six-nation bloc, according to a Gulf official.
The visa project will be declared during the GCC summit scheduled for December 5, the grouping’s Assistant Secretary Abdul Aziz Aluwaisheg told Saudi Al Ekhbariya Radio.
Earlier this month, the GCC interior ministers, meeting in Oman, approved the unified tourist visa among their countries in a milestone step set to boost their tourism and economy.
Aluwaisheg said the project had earlier encountered two obstacles, namely, absence of a tourist visa in some of the GCC member countries and security considerations.
The Schengen-like unified tourist visa system is expected to take effect in the next two years.
Last month, the UAE Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, said a meeting of the GCC tourism ministers in Oman unanimously endorsed its rollout to be presented at the upcoming GCC summit.
He told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) that specific regulations and legislation for the visa will be developed, with a targeted rollout between 2024 and 2025, subject to the readiness of each GCC country’s internal systems.
Al Marri pointed out that the new visa system will grant travellers access to the six countries under a single, unified tourist visa.
The UAE is getting ready to welcome the new flow of the foreign tourists with the introduction of the unified visa, the official added.
Created in 1981, the GCC comprises the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.