Unified tourist visa for GCC states likely

June 06, 2014 - 4:55:50 am

DOHA: A committee set up to assess the feasibility of a unified tourist visa for the GCC countries has said the proposal is excellent and would immensely boost tourism in the region.

Recommendations of the experts’ committee will be tabled at the next GCC leaders’ summit in Doha, for review and ratification, Saudi Arabia-based news website ‘alyaum’ (‘Today’ in Arabic) reported yesterday.

The Higher Consultative Authority of the GCC Secretariat-General was tasked by the leaders at their last summit in Kuwait to conduct a technical study to see if the proposal to have a unified tourist visa for the GCC was feasible.

The authority appointed a committee of experts from the region and asked them to conduct the study. The head of the authority, Najeeb Al Shams, said the panel had completed the study.

“The committee has found that the proposal is excellent and would considerably boost tourism in the region,” the website said.

A unified tourist visa for the region would come in handy as people entering one member-country wouldn’t need to approach the embassy or consulate of another member-state to acquire entry visa for that country. 

“You could enter one GCC country on a unified visa and visit all member-states,” the website quoted Al Shams as saying.

Not only regional airlines but sea and land transport would also get a boost due to a unified tourist visa, according to the website.

The Peninsula