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In a first, Gulf Cooperation Council gives the nod to unified tourist visa

The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has approved the issuing of the unified tourist visa.

This accreditation comes as a culmination of the efforts led by Saudi Arabia after the tourism ministers of the GCC countries adopted the Gulf Strategy for Tourism during their meeting in Al-Ula in November of last year.

One of the most important outcomes of the meeting was the unified Gulf tourist visa, as the kingdom had worked to lead the legislative framework for it with the aim of strengthening joint Gulf action in the tourism field.

The announcement confirms Saudi Arabia’s pioneering role in creating qualitative initiatives that contribute to strengthening the position of the GCC countries as a single tourist destination in the region.

The Supreme Council announced, in a recent statement issued by the meeting of the leaders of the GCC countries held on Tuesday in the Qatari capital, Doha, that it welcomed the efforts made by the Committee of Interior Ministers regarding the unified tourist visa, and approved what was reached in this regard.

It directed the council to authorize the Ministers of Interior to take the necessary measures to implement the unified Gulf tourist visa, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed bin Aqil al-Khateeb, said: “The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s adoption of the unified tourist visa is a historic step that reflects its commitment to enhancing cooperation and deepening ties in the field of tourism and various fields among them.

It will also foster the position of the Gulf countries as a distinguished tourist destination globally, he added, and stressed that the adoption of this visa is in line with the developmental renaissance witnessed by the GCC countries at various levels, and will have an effective impact in enhancing the desired interconnection between countries.

He added, “This visa will contribute to facilitating the movement of tourists and incoming visitors between the GCC countries, thus enhancing the role of tourism as an engine for economic growth, and opening new opportunities for investment in the tourism sector in each of the member states,”

Khateeb stressed the keenness of the Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia to cooperate closely with its counterparts in the Gulf tourism ministries to ensure the implementation of this step to serve the tourism and economic sectors in the region.

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