The Ministers of Interior of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have recently approved the unified Gulf tourist visa. They also approved the launch of a plan to link traffic violations electronically between the countries. Furthermore, preparations for a comprehensive Gulf strategy to combat drugs are underway.
GCC Secretary General Jassim Mohammed Al-Budaiwi announced that “the unified Gulf tourist visa is a new success added to the council’s achievements. Under the directives of the council’s leaders, more attention is placed on the achievements of the Gulf [in terms of] security cooperation.”
This development emerged during the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers of the GCC, which was held in the Omani capital. The meeting was headed by the Omani Minister of Interior Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi.
Unified visa advantages
The new visa will allow holders to visit all six countries within the GCC. It will also allow them to extend the duration of their visit to these countries for more than 30 days. The visa will be launching between 2024 and 2025, depending on the readiness of the countries’ internal systems. After approving the visa, the countries will place controls and legislation for its application.
By unifying the tourist visa system, the Gulf countries are working on enhancing the attractiveness of their markets. Undoubtedly, each country’s market, economy, and growth path are different. However, the unified visa is a strategic step in light of the economic transformation taking place in the region.
Achieving national security
The Secretary-General said that GCC countries “have become exemplary countries in terms of the progress and prosperity they have achieved.” He emphasized the regional and global development they have reached, as well as the improvement of the welfare of Gulf citizens.
He believes that Gulf countries are continuously making progress and reaching national goals. One of the goals the countries are focusing on now is achieving high-level national security. They are collaboratively working on monitoring and deterring anything that might obstruct the progress they have made so far.
Facilitating the movement of residents
The secretary-general explained that “the unified Gulf tourist visa project contributes to facilitating and streamlining the movement of residents and tourists between the six GCC countries. It will undoubtedly have positive repercussions on the economy and tourism sectors.”
In addition, Al-Budaiwi stressed that linking traffic violations electronically between the GCC countries will contribute to achieving traffic safety goals. “The new system will provide many traffic services in a unified manner between the GCC states for citizens” he added.
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