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GCC Single Tourist Visa Faces Integration Challenges

UAE Travellers Warned of Scammers Offering 'Faster Schengen Visa' for a Fee

Senior officials cite the complexities in integrating systems and aligning security measures as the reason behind the delay in launching the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) single tourist visa. 

Multiple country-specific security requirements and system integrations are slowing down the anticipated rollout.

CEO’s Insights at Skift Conference:

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), addressed the issue during the Skift Conference at Atlantis, The Royal. 

He highlighted the various state-specific security requirements that need alignment, contributing to the prolonged implementation phase.

Targeted Rollout and Regulations Development:

Regional ministers’ recent approval of the GCC tourist visa aligns with a Schengen-style visa, allowing travelers to explore all six Gulf Arab countries. 

Specific regulations and legislation for the visa are expected to be developed, targeting a rollout between 2024 and 2025, contingent upon the readiness of each GCC country’s internal systems.

Visa Fees and Expected Benefits:

Apart from system integration, the Gulf states are also devising a framework for visa fees. 

Anticipated benefits of the single visa include substantial advantages for prominent tourist destinations like the UAE, particularly Dubai and Saudi Arabia. 

The prediction is based on Dubai’s global tourist appeal and Saudi Arabia’s attraction for religious tourism in Makkah and Madinah.

Expected Tourist Flow:

Industry experts foresee a significant influx of tourists, especially between the UAE (Dubai) and Saudi Arabia, leveraging the new visa. 

Dubai’s status as a global tourist hub and Saudi Arabia’s religious significance are expected to drive a robust flow of tourists between these two countries once the visa is operational.

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