It will allow for seamless travel between the Gulf states…

A common GCC tourism visa is officially happening – and during ATM 2024, it’s been confirmed that it will be called GCC Grand Tours.

As per Gulf Business, Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE Minister of Economy confirmed that the green light had been given for a unified tourism visa, which will allow travellers to visit all six GCC countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, under one visa. So, ticking off several destinations on a regional trip looks like it’s set to be even easier.

The Schengen-style GCC tourism visa will permit tourists to spend more than a month in the region, Al Marri said. “Through the GCC Grand Tours, that we are working on and aiming to finish, will allow tourists to spend more than 30 days in the region,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf News. He added that it also aims to make travel through the GCC region easier and more affordable, increasing tourism numbers across the states.

Although an official launch date wasn’t given, it’s expected to be in place by the end of the year, according to Khalid Jasim Al Midfa of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority (SCTDA). Speaking during a panel discussion at ATM and reported by Khaleej Times, he added that “By the end of this year, the whole system will be in place. (We) are working day and night and e-service is a vital part of it.

He further added that it will be a ‘very good’ initiative with ‘a positive outcome for regional economies.