Urgent UAE announces New visa planned Schengen-style

Urgent UAE At the level of ministers, discussions regarding the best way to implement this form of visa are currently taking place.

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The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are considering implementing a "Schengen-style" visa for tourists, which would increase revenue and foot traffic for all GCC countries.

During her speech at the Arabian Travel Market, Bahrain's Minister of Tourism Fatima Al Sairafi revealed that ministerial-level talks between GCC countries have been underway to establish a single visa for all GCC countries.

UAE announces New visa planned Schengen-style

Since most tourists from outside Europe visit multiple cities during their stay, we predict this trend will accelerate in the near future. Al Sairafi declared as much at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, during a panel discussion on "The Future of Travel for the GCC."

She mentioned that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia's joint promotion of Bahrain has been successful.

We co-promoted Bahrain with the UAE and other GCC markets, and the result was 9.9 million visits in 2022, much exceeding our original target of 8.3 million. The number of visitors subsequently rose. She elaborated, "When we co-promoted at a unified destination through 100 or more tour operators, footfall also increased, and the diversity of tourists' nationalities also increased."

When asked about the importance of the tourist industry to the growth of GCC economies, Abdullah Al Saleh, undersecretary for the Ministry of Economy, said as much during the panel discussion.

We share a single market and operate under coordinated guidelines. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can increase its tourism earnings on the supply and demand sides by implementing comprehensive rules and processes. "It's getting easier as time goes on, especially with the increased flow of people among the GCC," he remarked.

The GCC countries, Al Saleh continued, "think that if they give a pleasant experience for visitors, especially long-distance travellers travelling to this region, instead of visiting one country, there would be a programme to maximise their travels to more than one country in the region. He said that if tourists could freely travel between GCC countries as part of a single, united package, everyone would be happier.

The undersecretary also mentioned that ministers have developed a single GCC tourism strategy to raise the industry's contribution to the GCC GDP, enhance employment of nationals, improve competitiveness, and guarantee a sustainable tourism sector.

"We have an agreement within the GCC on how to promote the GCC as a unique destination for tourists, and we plan to do this by launching a new application and website that promotes all the destinations within the GCC and also promotes unique events, as well as how we go and participate in events in other countries and under one umbrella. That we are all working towards the same end and sharing a common vision is central to the GCC's grand strategy.

According to Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, travellers no longer think of a certain country while planning their vacations.

He went on to say that the success of the Fifa World Cup in Qatar had a significant impact on Saudi Arabia, proving that promoting joint products can be profitable for all parties involved.

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