DOHA: Bahrain is ready to join a unified tourist visa system which presently Qatar, Oman and Dubai are part of. People with a tourist visa for any of the three countries that are members of the unified visa regime can visit all or any of these countries.
The Consultative Authority of the GCC states is slated to meet in Kuwait on February 5 to discuss the entry of other GCC states into the unified tourist visa system. The system was originally mooted for all the six member-states of the GCC, and the remaining countries are expected to join the regime in the near future.
The head of the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Khalil Al Khanji, said the idea of a unified tourist visa system for the GCC was first mooted by Oman’s private sector.
Oman then inked a tourism cooperation agreement with Qatar (in 2002). The unified visa for Qatar, Oman and Dubai is valid for three weeks and can be extended for another week.
In 2005, rules were amended and the visa was allowed to be further extended for a month after being initially extended for a week.
Al Khanji said people in the GCC want all the member-states to be part of a unified visa regime as Dubai is set to host World Expo 2020 and Qatar is lined up the coveted 2022 World Cup Football.