The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are reviewing plans to launch a regional Schengen-style visa for tourists, a move that is expected to further boost economic growth, according to Bahrain’s Minister of Tourism, APA reports citing Al Arabiya.
Speaking during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) held in the UAE’s Dubai, Fatima al-Sairafi said that the countries were studying how to achieve a unified single visa.
GCC member states include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.
“We see this could happen very soon because we see people flying from abroad to Europe usually spending their time in several countries rather than in one country. We really saw the value this can bring not to each country but all of us,” the minister told a panel at the ATM.
CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority Fahd Hamidaddin explained that future travelers will more likely lean toward visiting multiple countries in a region, rather than a single country if the visa system is adopted.
“I believe travelers of tomorrow will look always at multiple stops, routes, and regions,” Hamidaddin said.