New Schengen-style visa for GCC countries will ease travel across the region


The Schengen-style approach will allow travellers to roam across all GCC countries in a hassle-free manner.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. After this change is implemented, tourists from across the globe can plan a trip to all these countries without worrying about multiple visas.

The important announcement came under light at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Fatima Al Sairafi, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Bahrain said,”We see that happening very soon because we see people flying from abroad to Europe usually spending their time in several countries rather than in one country. We really saw the value this can bring not to each country but all of us.”

Pointing to last year’s FIFA World Cup as a successful “test pilot” in terms of GCC collaboration, she further added, “We have huge opportunity, the effort is in how to unify all the countries in the GCC. We had 9.9 million visitors in 2022. How? There was one key initiative that year, we started to co-promote Bahrain as a unified destination with the GCC.

With tourism becoming a major money-making arm across GCC, this initiative will further accelerate the revenue that travellers bring in.

While there is yet to be an announcement about the offical implementation and the timeline, but so far, this unified effort feels like a step in the right direction.

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