The UAE has announced plans to introduce a new visa system for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Similar to the Schengen visas used by many European countries. The new visa will enable GCC citizens to travel more easily within the region and promote greater economic integration.
Strengthening GCC Alliances
The GCC is an alliance, including: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. While citizens of these countries currently enjoy visa-free travel within the GCC, they often face bureaucratic hurdles and lengthy processes when traveling to other countries outside the region.
The new visa system aims to streamline this process and provide a simpler and more efficient way for GCC citizens to travel. It will also promote greater economic integration by facilitating cross-border trade and investment.
The UAE has been a leader in promoting regional integration and has previously implemented measures such as the GCC-wide Value Added Tax (VAT) and the Gulf Common Market. The new visa system is another step towards greater economic and social cooperation within the GCC.
About Schengen Visa
The Schengen visas system was established in 1995. It allows citizens of certain European countries to travel freely within the Schengen Area, which includes 26 European countries. With a Schengen visa, you can travel freely between these countries without the need for additional border checks. It is particularly beneficial for tourists and business travelers who wish to visit multiple countries within the Schengen Area without the hassle of obtaining separate visas for each country.
It’s important to note that the Schengen visa allows you to stay in the Schengen Area. Maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. If you plan to stay longer or work in one of the Schengen countries, you will need to apply for a different type of visa or a residence permit.
The new GCC visa system will adopt a similar approach. Allowing citizens of member countries to move more freely within the region.
The announcement of the new visa system was made by the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and the need for greater integration in the face of global challenges.
Details of the new visa system, including the application process and eligibility criteria, have not yet been announced. However, the UAE’s government has said that it is working closely with other GCC countries to develop the new system and ensure its smooth implementation.
Benefits of the Visa
Today’s travelers, according to Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, think of a region rather than a specific nation.
He added that Saudi Arabia greatly benefited from the Fifa World Cup in Qatar. This demonstrates that collaborative services can benefit all. “I believe travelers of tomorrow will always look at multiple stops, routes, and regions,” he said.
The new visa system will be soon available to GCC citizens. That will benefit from greater ease of travel and increased opportunities for trade and investment. It is also likely to boost tourism within the region. As visitors will be able to travel more easily between GCC countries.
The introduction of the new visa system is a positive step towards greater regional integration and cooperation within the GCC.
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