The new visa system in the UAE allows residents to Travel freely between these countries

Ahmed Moawad - | UAE

The UAE government has announced the issuance of a new tourist visa that allows UAE residents to travel to Gulf Cooperation Council countries in order to increase the attractiveness of its markets in the face of stiff competition from other countries around the world. The "Schengen" visa and the unified Gulf tourist visa are similar.

Because approximately 70 percent of tourism in the UAE comes from international markets, the new system is designed to make it possible for residents of a variety of countries to enter the UAE without the need for a visa. This is intended to encourage tourism, which is especially important given that the UAE already possesses all of the necessary components to support the tourism sector.

Officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries approved the unified tourist visa project for the Gulf, in the six member states, to improve the economic and tourism sectors.

What is the unified visa for the Gulf?

It is a joint visa system between 6 member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, facilitating the opportunity for tourists to travel to one or several countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council within one framework.

Instead of the traveler obtaining a separate visa for each country, he now has a unified visa for 6 countries that allows them to enter within the framework of mutual agreements between the participating countries, as cultural and economic exchange between the participating countries increases.

It will allow Gulf Cooperation Council people to travel freely

According to what was confirmed by Bloomberg Agency through Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, at a recent conference called "The Future of Hospitality," the new visa system will work to simplify residents' travel to neighboring Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia.

According to the UAE Minister of Economy, this new system will go into effect very soon, adding that the Gulf countries benefit from the tourism boom in Saudi Arabia, and that what is good for the Kingdom benefits the broader region, including the UAE.

Gulf Cooperation Council nations

It is worth noting that the Gulf Cooperation Council includes a large number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Citizens of these nations can freely travel across borders without obtaining a visa, but residents frequently require visas to travel between GCC countries.

Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries may enter the UAE

1- If the application is approved, the electronic visa is emailed to the email address specified in the application.

2- Without the sponsor going with them, no visit visa application will be allowed for any member of the family or supporting categories of residents or companions of nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations.

3- Before entry, a GCC resident's entry permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance, and the term of stay in the nation is 30 days from the day of entry, extendable once for a period of 30 days.

4- The entry permit is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance for those accompanying citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council nations, and the term of stay in the country is 60 days from the date of admission, extendable once for a period of 60 days.

5- If the holder of a GCC resident/accompanying entry permit discovers that his residence has expired or been cancelled, he will be denied admission.

6- The holder of a GCC resident entrance permit shall be denied admission if the profession is shown to have changed after the entry permission was issued.

7- When arriving at the ports of the United Arab Emirates, the validity of residency in the Gulf Cooperation Council state must be more than three months.

8- The entry permit holder's passport must be valid for at least three months while arriving in United Arab Emirates ports.

GCC visa fees

The Gulf Cooperation Council visa is issued by the country’s approved outlets to foreigners residing in any of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The service fee is 250 dirhams in addition to value-added tax (5%).

When will the unified Gulf tourist visa be made available?

The formal debut date for the single tourist visa has not yet been declared, but according to a statement from Emirati Minister Abdullah bin Touq, it is extremely close.

Validity of entry permit to the Emirates

Residents from Gulf Cooperation Council countries can enter the United Arab Emirates 30 days before the date of issuance of entry permits.

Residents can also stay in the United Arab Emirates for 30 days from the date of entry, and this period can be extended for another 30 days only once.

Accreditation of all resident professions

The accreditation of all professions for residents in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries has been expanded as a result of the continuous updates that the Ministry of Tourism works on periodically.

The step to allow those wishing to enter the Emirates or Saudization and other specified countries, without requiring specific professions, came within the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism to provide the opportunity for all residents of the Gulf countries to enjoy tourist destinations, participate in tourism and entertainment events, and learn closely about the heritage and historical depth of the Kingdom.

Electronic visa application for citizens of 12 countries

The practice of affixing a visa sticker to a traveler's passport in order to obtain a work, visit, or residency visa was discontinued not too long ago by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Instead, the visa is now printed on a sheet of paper approximately the size of a medium-sized sheet and is fitted with a QR code.

Many nations, including Turkey, Pakistan, Yemen, and Sudan, as well as Uganda, Lebanon, Nepal, Kenya, and Morocco, in addition to Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, are expected to start using electronic visas in the near future.

Unified Gulf tourist visa

At the conclusion of the 44th Gulf Summit, which took place in Doha, Qatar, on December 5, 2023, the Supreme Council of the countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a final statement that approved the unified Gulf tourist visa. This statement was issued in the final statement that was issued by the meeting of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It is anticipated that it will go into effect between the years 2024 and 2025 AD, but this will be contingent on the readiness of the internal systems of the countries that are participating in the cooperation.

Anyone who obtains a visa for entry or residence in one of the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman—is able to enter the remaining countries with the same visa. This is analogous to the Schengen visa, which connects the countries that make up the European Union to one another and makes it easier for tourists and visitors to travel between countries. Council members.

The countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council believe that by doing so, they will be able to create new opportunities for investment in the tourism industry within their member states.

Advantages of the unified Gulf visa

  • Stimulating economic growth
  • Enhancing travel to the destination with a unified visa
  • Simplifying travel between the GCC countries
  • Attracting more long-distance tourists from Europe, the United States and Asia
  • Increase tourism spending.

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Ahmed Moawad
Ahmed Moawad
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