This article is reviewed regularly by Wego‘s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.
Reviewed November 2023
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.
Table of Contents
What is the GCC unified 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 travelers 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.
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 travelers to visit the GCC countries. The unified GCC visa will provide a great opportunity for GCC countries and will drive more travelers 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 latest news
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has officially approved a unified tourist visa, allowing easier travel between six GCC member countries, namely the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. This significant decision was made during the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers of the GCC, chaired by the Minister of Interior of Oman, Sayyed Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, in Muscat, Oman.
The unified GCC tourist visa is expected to be in effect between 2024 and 2025, following each country’s internal regulations. This move is aimed at boosting tourism and economic integration in the region, making travel more accessible for residents and tourists. Additionally, the ministers also agreed to electronically link traffic violations among GCC countries and work on a comprehensive strategy to combat drug-related issues in the region.
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 required documents
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 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.