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Gulf States likely to issue tourist visa in the middle of next year

Posted on October 23, 2015
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The GCC is working to issue a unified Gulf tourist visa for the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, reveals GCC Assistant-Secretary General for Cultural and Media Affairs, Dr Khalid bin Salim al-Ghassani.

He predicts that the tourist visa will be released in the middle of next year, noting that the it will allow foreigners to visit all GCC countries without exception, Saudi-based Al Riyadh newspaper reports.

Al-Ghassani stresses that the unified Gulf visa is expected to become a reality soon, noting that this issue was discussed at the GCC Tourism Ministers meeting in Oman last week.

Ghassani says: “There is a need to put the finishing touches on the release of the united visa for the six Gulf nations as soon as possible.”

He adds that the GCC is seeking to take advantage of the new tourism policy, saying that it must learn from the European experience with regard to the Schengen visa.

He adds that the meeting discussed the integration paths between the public and private sectors, through a discussion of the proposed visualisations of the GCC Chambers Union, for the development of joint work between the two sectors in the field of tourism in the GCC countries, in addition to discussing the raise of the private sector contribution in the tourism sector.

Recent official statistics reported that Gulf tourism’s contribution in countries’ GDP ranges from five to 15 per cent in the GCC and statistics show that the GCC countries allocate roughly $380 billion for tourism projects until 2018.

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