A Guide to GCC Grand Tours: The Schengen-Style GCC Tourism Visa | ExpatWoman.com

A Guide to GCC Grand Tours: The Schengen-Style GCC Tourism Visa

Your guide to the latest news about GCC Grand Tours, the GCC's version of a Schengen-style unified tourism visa

Posted on

14 May 2024

Last updated on 14 May 2024
Schengen-Style GCC Tourism Visa: A Guide to the GCC Grand Tours unified visa

Everything to know so far about the GCC region's one common tourism visa.

Soon enough, travellers will be able to visit all of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries under one visit visa, which will be called 'GCC Grand Tours' - according to an announcement made at ATM 2024.

The unified tourist visa is akin to the European Union's (EU) Schengen visa which permits tourists to travel to several destinations in one trip.

In this guide, we've compiled all official information that has been released so far about the upcoming GCC unified tourism visa.

What is the GCC Grand Tours visa?

The 'GCC Grand Tours' visa is the name of the upcoming Schengen-style tourist visa for the GCC region, allowing visitors seamless travel between six Middle Eastern countries without having to apply for additional tourist visas:

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • State of Kuwait
  • State of Qatar

How long will the GCC unified tourist visa will valid for?

Holders of the GCC Grand Tours visa will be able to spend more than 30 days in the region, said Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE Minister of Economy, to Arabian Business.

Al Marri previously informed Gulf News that the unified tourism visa aims to make travel to any GCC country easier and less costly, with the goal of boosting tourism in the region.

When will be the GCC Grand Tours visa be available?

While an official date has not been revealed yet, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority (SCTDA) said that the GCC's Schengen-style tourism visa is expected to kickstart by the end of 2024.

"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," Khaleej Times quoted him.

Al Midfa sees the upcoming unified travel visa as a "very good" initiative that can promise a "positive outcome for regional economies".