GCC to launch single visa for tourists
Visitors to the Persian Gulf will soon find it easier to move between the member states, with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) set to introduce a visa that allows entry to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.
According to Najeeb Al-Shaamesi, director general of the Higher Advisory Commission at the GCC, it is hoped that such a document will be approved during the next meeting and will promote tourism in the Gulf region.
“The next meeting of the commission, with members of the consultative committee, will approve the final recommendations, which will then be submitted to the GCC leadership for ratification at the summit in the Qatari capital,” he commented.
Companies in the tourism industry have welcomed the move, claiming it will allow them to present the Gulf as a more accessible place to visit.
Dammam-based travel industry veteran Abdullah Abu Khamseen said: “Someone traveling from a far-off place generally likes to spend at least two weeks at a tourist destination.
“If this person comes to Bahrain, there is not much to do beyond four days. He or she would definitely want to spend time in other countries in the region.”
He told Arab News that he would ask the GCC to go one step further and stop officials from stamping passports for every country within the Persian Gulf as this fills up the documents more quickly for tourists traversing multiple nations.
The six nations that comprise the Gulf are situated around a large body of water and have plenty of untapped tourism potential between them. Qatar is likely to witness an uptick in travel over the coming years as it gets set for the World Cup.
However, no matter where you’re travelling, it’s always worth getting comprehensive travel insurance for your journey.