Morning light on the pyramids. Egypt has imposed entry visa fees on citizens of the GCC countries. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Abu Dhabi: Egypt has levied entry visa fees on citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) in addition to Qatar.

The decision, which was issued by the Ministry of Interior, was published on Thursday in the official gazette to be enforced from Friday, June 19, 2020.

Since 2017, Egypt has imposed entry visa fees on Qatari citizens.

The new decision did not specify the value of the fee imposed on GCC citizens for obtaining the visa.

The ministry also issued a decision exempting tourists who come to the country on board charter flights to tourist provinces from visa fees, until October 31, 2020, the end of the summer tourist season.

A number of tourism companies organise daily charter flights for Egyptians wishing to travel from GCC countries to various Egyptian cities.

Last March, Egypt announced emergency visas can be obtained at the ports of arrival for more countries determined by the relevant security authorities, extending the period of visa and the creation of a new five-year visa, which allows visitors to stay in Egypt for up to 90 days each time they enter, provided that visas are obtained from Egypt’s consulates abroad or through the electronic visa portal.

Egypt’s tourism sector has been severely affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The global tourism declining rates became the largest obstacle to global economic growth, said Adviser to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Saeed El Batouti.

He added that there is a decline in aviation demand forecast to 0.6 per cent instead of 4.8 per cent, and that the rate of bookings has also dropped by 11 per cent since the outbreak.