News report | | 06/11/2023 | ±2 minutes reading time

The six countries forming the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Middle East, including Oman, will cooperate to implement a joint tourist visa. So has claimed Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, the Minister of Foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of this joint visa is to boost tourism in the countries and improve the economy.

Which countries are participating?

The Gulf Cooperation Council is a trade bloc in the Middle East formed by six countries: Bahrain, kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These six countries are participating in the joint tourist visa programme, which Minister Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri says will be introduced in 2024 or 2025. Currently, visiting each of the six countries requires a separate visa, but the new joint tourist visa will allow travellers to visit several countries within the partnership with only one travel authorisation.

The economic goal

By introducing the joint visa, the six participating countries aim to attract more tourists, which in turn should lead to growth in tourism revenues. In 2022, the total number of international visitors in the six participating countries stood at nearly 40 million, a 137% growth from 2021. It is likely that the 2022 Qatar World Cup played a major role in attracting more visitors to the country, as well as the end of corona-related restrictions.

By attracting more visitors, tourism revenues in the GCC are expected to reach about $97 billion by 2023. The GCC’s goal is to at least double this amount by 2030.

Bigger plans

The introduction of the joint tourist visa is part of the GCC’s so-called 2030 strategy, which aims to attract tourists to the participating countries and increase their GDP. The GCC aims to welcome around 100 million visitors annually by 2030. Apart from the shared tourist visa, the GCC has other plans to boost tourism and the economy in the participating countries.

The GCC also intends to design a unified route that tourists can follow to easily travel from one country to another. Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the best known tourist destinations, is going to play a major role in the GCC’s plans.

However, this new visa policy is also expected to make the GCC countries more attractive to (international) companies and talents. In turn, this should create more jobs and attract even more business travellers.

Validity of the joint visa

The visa’s validity, its cost, and the date of implementation are still unknown. At the moment, those who intend to travel to any of the six countries must apply for a visa for that country. For a trip to Oman, for example, you must apply for an Oman visa, which you can easily do online before departure.

Several variants of the tourist visa for Oman are available online, each with different costs and validity periods. Each of these variants can be applied for using the same online application form.

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Oman visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (11.62 EUR per visa, via evisa.rop.gov.om). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 11.62 EUR in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £39.99 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Oman visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.