Schengen-Like Visa for UAE Saudi Arabia and Other Arab Countries Soon.
Tourists will soon have the opportunity to explore the enchanting countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through a groundbreaking unified visa system.
Anticipated to launch around 2024/2025, this scheme promises to streamline travel across these six nations, mirroring the ease of the Schengen area.
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The announcement came from GCC Secretary General Jassim Al Budaiwi during the 40th meeting of GCC interior ministers in Oman, marking a historic moment for regional tourism.
The GCC’s Tourism Vision:
Under the visionary GCC 2030 tourism plan, the unified visa initiative is a pivotal component designed to amplify the tourism sector’s economic impact.
The plan envisions fostering regional travel and boosting hotel occupancy rates to ensure the Gulf’s place on the global tourism map.
By 2030, the GCC aims to welcome a staggering 128.7 million tourists, a remarkable 137% increase compared to 2021’s 39.8 million visitors.
This forward-looking strategy is set to unlock the region’s vast, untapped tourism potential.
GCC launches Schengen-like visa system GCC launches Schengen-like visa system is a welcoming sign for tourists and tourism in the region.
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Industry experts are hailing this new program as a game-changer for the GCC nexus.
It eliminates the visa complications that have historically deterred tourists, promising a brighter future for the region’s travel and hospitality sector.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths, in an interview with Abu Dhabi’s The National, expressed enthusiasm about the development. He anticipates the GCC’s enhanced appeal will encourage more visitors and businesses.
Additionally, Griffiths highlights the positive global perception that will emerge as the Middle East becomes a more accessible and inviting destination.
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Boosting Regional Tourism:
The single GCC tourist visa is an integral part of the GCC’s broader vision to promote inter-city flights and attract more hotel guests throughout the Gulf bloc.
By increasing tourism’s contribution to the GDP, the GCC aims to solidify its position as a prominent global tourism destination. For the UAE, in particular, where tourism accounts for 14% of its GDP, this initiative holds tremendous promise.
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