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Updated April 2024

Making travel more accessible and faster, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – is set to introduce a GCC visa that will be similar to Europe’s Schengen visa. Once launched, the GCC visa will allow GCC residents to travel visa-free to all the countries under the Council, just as the GCC nationals have always done.

Read on as Wego provides an overview of everything we know until now regarding the GCC visa.

What is the GCC tourist visa?

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), consisting of six member countries, is actively considering implementing a unified visa system, enabling residents to travel effortlessly among its member states. This significant initiative has been unanimously approved by the members of the GCC, as announced by Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism in Oman. It promises seamless travel experiences for GCC residents and fosters greater regional integration and connectivity.

This move extends the previously disclosed plan to introduce a Schengen-style unified visa for tourists and business travellers from 35 foreign and Arab countries.

Once operational, the GCC visa will grant residents the privilege of visa-free travel across all member countries, akin to GCC nationals. This progressive step closely emulates the principles of Europe’s Schengen zone, promoting border control-free travel in tandem with the unrestricted flow of goods and services within the European Union. The anticipated benefits encompass heightened economic growth and the facilitation of travel throughout the region.

However, the documents required to apply for the GCC visa are yet to be released. Please note that we will update the information as and when it is released by the authorities.

GCC tourist visa benefits

Implementing a Schengen-style GCC visa, which grants visa-free travel for GCC residents to all countries within the Council, is predicted to stimulate economic growth and promote more accessible travel.

Mamoun Hmedan, CCO at Wego, stated, “There is a desire towards a unified visa to make it easier for travellers to visit the GCC countries. The unified GCC visa will provide a great opportunity for GCC countries and will drive more travellers to the region, boosting tourism. It will also help the countries achieve their goals sooner once it is rolled out.”

Making travel across the GCC nations easier and faster, the unified single visa will further streamline travel between GCC nations and attract more long-haul tourists from Europe, the US, and Asia, with extended stays of up to 15 days in these countries, resulting in increased tourist spending.

Moreover, The travel sector is expected to benefit significantly from this development, with increased opportunities for spontaneous travel and new city break segments.

GCC tourist visa launch date

The official launch date for the GCC visa remains undisclosed as discussions surrounding its implementation continue. However, The Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, has recently announced that the visa is targeted to start between 2024 and 2025

Please note that we will update the specific date when it is released by the authorities.

GCC tourist visa application process

The GCC visa is still being planned by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to attract more long-haul tourists from Europe, the US, and Asian destinations and increase the length of stay up to 15 days in the countries under the Council.

Please note that the application process for the GCC visa has not yet been released. However, we will update the information as an when released by the authorities.

GCC tourist visa fee

The price for the GCC visa has not been confirmed yet.

Please note that we will update the price as and when released by the authorities.


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