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What the Gulf states new unified visa means for Saudi, UAE, other citizens

The new Schengen-like visa — allowing seamless travel between members Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — will be introduced during 2024-25.
Tourists and locals visit the Dubai Mall aquarium in downtown Dubai, January 2, 2019.

The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Wednesday approved a unified tourist visa for all the organization's member states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The new visa was announced at the 40th meeting of the GCC interior ministers, which took place under the chairmanship of Sayyed Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, interior minister of Oman and president of the current session, in the Omani capital of Muscat.

GCC Secretary-General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi said that the visa represents a new achievement for the six-country bloc and will underpin “continuous communication and co-ordination” between members.

“The unified Gulf tourist visa is a project that will contribute to facilitating and streamlining the movement of residents and tourists between the six GCC countries and will, undoubtedly, have a positive [impact] on the economic and tourist sectors,” Albudaiwi said.

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