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How to apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident?

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GCC residents (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) can apply for a Saudi visa online if they meet certain conditions.

  • 9 visa-free countries for Saudi Iqama holders

Requirements

The GCC residents can apply for a Saudi visa online if they meet the following conditions;

  • 3 months validity of the GCC residency card.
  • 6 months validity of the passport.
  • Debit/Credit card to pay the fee.
  • Scanned copy of passport and GCC residency card.
  • List all countries you have traveled to in the last 5 years along with the travel dates.
  • Minimum age: 18 years if applying without parents.

Step 1: Create an account

In order to apply for a Saudi visa as a GCC resident;

  • Open https://visa.mofa.gov.sa/Account/Loginindividuals
  • Create an account with your email.
  • Enter your login details.

apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident

On the next page, click on;

  • Add New Application .
  • Agree to all the terms and conditions.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Step 2: Personal Information

On the next page you need to enter your visa and personal information;

  • Vis Type: Tourism Visit .
  • Transport Mode: Open .
  • Saudi Mission: Main city of your GCC country .
  • Enter your name in Arabic .
  • Enter your name in English .

apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident

Step 3: GCC Information

Scroll down a little bit and here you need to enter your GCC residency details to apply for a Saudi visa.

  • Select your Current Nationality.
  • Select the third option: A “valid” residence for a period of no less than three months in the Gulf Countries.
  • Enter your GCC residency card details.
  • Attach a copy of your passport and GCC residency card.
  • Add your passport details.
  • KSA Home Address: The place you will be staying in Saudi Arabia.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Step 4: Saudi Visa Details

In the next step, a GCC resident is required to enter Saudi entry details to apply for a visa;

  • Port of Entry: the place you are entering Saudi Arabia.
  • Expected Date of Entry.
  • Number of Entries: Multiple .
  • Visa Validity: 365 days .
  • Duration of Stay: 90 days .
  • Do you want to perform Umrah? Yes .
  • Enter the details of countries you have visited in the last 5 years.

apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident

Step 5: Insurance Details

On the next page, enter the required details to apply for travel insurance to Saudi Arabia. The website will present you the quotes from different insurance companies;

  • Select the cheapest insurance.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Step 6: Pay the fee

Here is the breakup of the fee you need to pay to apply for a Saudi visa as a GCC resident;

  • $12 – $20 for insurance.
  • $10.50 as an application fee.
  • SR 345 for the visa fee.

After paying the fee, you can apply for a visa. If the visa application is accepted, the visa will be sent as an attachment via e-mail.

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GCC residents can now apply online for Saudi tourist visa

Residents in the region can also apply for umrah visas electronically.

Tourists visit the ancient archaeological site of Hegra in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg

Tourists visit the ancient archaeological site of Hegra in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg

The National author image

Saudi Arabia 's tourist visa application process has been simplified for Gulf Co-operation Council residents, the country’s tourism minister said on Thursday.

“Saudi Arabia’s visa application is now simpler, more convenient and straightforward for residents of GCC states, regardless of their profession”, Ahmed Al Khateeb said on Twitter.

The visa is available to apply online through the government’s Visit Saudi platform, and the simplified process “will allow individuals to explore the various regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah rituals”.

The Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah said that all residents of GCC countries can apply for Umrah visas electronically.

He said all expatriates living in the GCC and their first-degree relatives with a Gulf residency permit valid for three months and a passport valid for six months can visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah, and visit the Prophet’s Mosque.

GCC residents can apply for online visit visas to perform Umrah through the Saudi Rouh platform, for a fee of 300 Saudi riyals plus a medical insurance fee.

They can have single and multiple entry visas to perform Umrah rituals, pray in the Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet’s Mosque and visit all the kingdom's cities and historical sites.

The official Saudi Press Agency said the move “comes within the Ministry of Tourism's efforts to provide an opportunity for residents in the GCC states to visit tourist destinations, participate in tourism and entertainment events, and explore the heritage and historical sites of the kingdom.”

The fee for the visa is $80 and the travel document will be emailed to the applicant upon approval.

Anyone wishing to apply must have a GCC residency permit valid for at least three months and a passport valid for at least six months.

Saudi Arabia has been undertaking an ambitious drive to increase tourism revenue in recent years as part of its Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy.

Major tourism projects include AlUla heritage village — a specially developed experience around the ancient Silk Road city — and a sustainable tourism project on the Red Sea that will include a host of seaside luxury hotels across an archipelago of 90 islands.

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Saudi visa for GCC residents- Easy Guide with 2024 updates

Even though citizens of the GCC countries do not need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia, residents of these countries must get a Saudi visa in order to be allowed entry. The Saudi government however in September 2019 issued out new reforms that align with the Saudi Vision 2030.

One of the reforms is the plan for Saudi to open doors to travelers from across the word under the e-visa program. The first beneficiaries will be the GCC residents who will now have easy access to Saudi Arabia.

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Written By Arabiers Digital & Reviewed by Robeena Brown

July 20, 2023 | 13 min read

topic-icon

  • 1. What is a Saudi visit visa for GCC RESIDENTS ? ➜
  • 2. Documents Required ➜
  • 4. Validity ➜
  • 5. Process ➜
  • 6. Insurance ➜
  • 7. Approved professions ➜
  • 8. Condition ➜
  • 9. Updates ➜
  • 10. Experiences in Saudi Arabia ➜

What is a Saudi visit visa for GCC RESIDENTS?

Saudi visit visa for GCC residents

GCC residents are people living in the GCC outcries and with the new Saudi visa reforms, these individuals in the past needed to apply for visa to be allowed entry to Saudia.

Now, if you are a GCC resident and would want to travel to Saudi, you only need to present a copy of your resident visa permit, a scanned copy of your passport and a photo of yourself taken against a white background.

If you live in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar and have an occupation that is eligible for a GCC resident visa, you can easily get a Saudi e-visa to allow you entry to Saudi Arabia.

Documents Required

Application for a Saudi e-visa is an online process so GCC residents who want this visa must scan their documents and send to the Arabiers team in PDF format through WhatsApp or email.

Here are the documents required to apply for a Saudi visa for the GCC residents :

  • A copy of your valid passport
  • A recent photo that is taken against a white background
  • A copy of your GCC resident visa permit

Saudi visa requirements for GCC residents

You will spend around 690 AED to apply for a Saudi visa if you are a GCC resident. This price includes the consultation fees, document collection, typing of the application, paying the Saudi Embassy and buying a travel insurance.

If you are 75 years and above, you will have to pay more money to buy a travel insurance policy.

The Saudi e-visa is a multiple entry type of visa and allows you stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days in a 1-year duration. You can therefore use the visa to enter the kingdom several times as log as it is within the 90 days visa validity period.

The application and processing of the Saudi e-visa is online and takes 2 to 3 working days for the visa to be ready. Just like in the UAE, Saudi Arabia from January 1 2022 changed its working days and now government offices open from Monday to Friday noon.

It is therefore advisable if you apply for visa during the working days to avoid delays in processing. Below is the easy process to follow to apply for a Saudi visa if you reside in the GCC countries :

  • 01   1) First, contact Arabiers and send us the necessary documents
  • 02   You will get a reply from us immediately
  • 03   Also, tell us whether you will be performing Umra in Saudi Arabia or not
  • 04   Inform us the airport you want to land in
  • 05   Next, tell us the approximate date you want to travel
  • 06   After that, we will send you a double secured payment link where you will pay the visa fees
  • 07   We will then proceed with applying for your visa and also apply for your insurance
  • 08   Once the visa is approved, we will send it to you
  • 09   After that, book a flight to Saudi and a hotel there
  • 10   Send us the flight ticket
  • 11   After that double confirm to ensure your insurance is activated
  • 12   Finally prepare to travel to Saudi Arabia

Every visitor entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including GCC residents must have a valid travel insurance to be allowed into the country.

  • When you apply for a Saudi visa, your insurance policy is activated on the date you are expected to travel to Saudi, that is the date registered on MOFA’s Visa Issuance System (Enjaz).
  • Immediately your insurance policy gets activated, we will email you with an electronic copy of the insurance and an electronic medial card.
  • If you want to cancel the insurance, you will also have to cancel your Saudi visit visa from the Saudi Embassy or the consulate office.
  • Moreover, if the Saudi visit visa is issued after the date you expected to arrive in Saudi, we will activate your travel insurance on the date your visa is issued to you.

Approved professions

If you are a GCC resident with a valid GCC resident visa and possess the professional skills that are mentioned below, you qualify to apply for a Saudi e-visa.

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Manager
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Partner Manager
  • Federation President
  • Head of Non-Profit Organization
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry President
  • Head of Public Authority
  • Corporate President
  • Chief Physician
  • Chief Nurse
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Medical statistical Technician
  • Medical Insurance Technician
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Physics Technician
  • Medical Coding Technician
  • Medical Secretary
  • Medical Optics Technician
  • Medical Imaging Assistant
  • General Surgeon
  • Specialist Surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • Urological Surgeon
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Doctor
  • Health Informatics Specialist
  • Health Educator
  • Mental Health Assistant
  • Oral & Dental Health Therapist
  • Health Information Technician
  • Health Services & Hospitals Management Technician
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Occupational Health and Safety Supervisor
  • Public Health Technician
  • Health Facilities Control Manager
  • Public Health Manager
  • Public Health Control Manager
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Dental Laboratory Technicians
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  • Pharmacologist
  • Genetic Specialist
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If you live in the UAE and have a valid UAE residence visa , you need to meet the following conditions so that you can apply for a Saudi Arabia visa for the GCC residents.

  • Your UAE residency visa must be valid for at least 3 months
  • Your passport should be valid for over 6 months
  • Your profession should be mentioned in the list above
  • Children under 18 should wait until their parent’s visa is approved so that they can apply for one

August 22, 2022

Saudi Arabia loosened all the COVID-19 regulations including the need for a PCR test and quarantine when you enter the country.

Tourist from all over the world can now freely enter and exit Saudi Arabia as long as they meet the qualification criteria that has been set up.

Experiences in Saudi Arabia

There is so much that tourist in Saudi Arabia can explore. Below we have highlighted some of the best experiences in the country that will expose you to their rich history, vibrant culture, beautiful sceneries and the hospitality of Saudi Arabians.

1. The Two Holy Mosques, Makkah & Madinah

The Two Holy Mosques, Makkah & Madinah

The Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid an-Nabawi are the holiest places according to the Islam religion. The two mosques are located in Makkah and Madinah, which are both holy cities in Saudi.

Masjid al-Haram also known as the Great Mosque is the largest mosque in the world and it is home to the holy Kaaba (the abode of Allah).

If you are visiting Saudi during the Hajj and the Umrah, masjid al-Haram is the most important place to go.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, also called the Prophet’s Mosque was first built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and it is the second largest mosque in the world.

It is also here at the mosque where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is buried together with Abu Bakr and Umar, who are two very important people in the Islamic history.

2. Abraj Al-Bait Towers, Makkah

Abraj Al-Bait Towers, Makkah

The Abraj Al-Bait towers are a beautiful structure located in Makkah just next to the Grand Mosque. This building complex is owned by the government and inside it is seven luxury hotels, apartments, shopping centers, restaurants and a large prayer area. It also has a four-faced clock that is known to be the world’s tallest clock of that kind.

3. Kingdom Centre in Riyadh

Kingdom Centre ? A must-see attraction in Riyadh

The kingdom Center Tower is about 300 meters tall and is among the most popular buildings in Riyadh. It is an important landmark in the city and is considered to be a national symbol due to its prime location in the country’s capital city.

The tower is home to many shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, top rated brands, luxurious residentials and a 5-star hotel.

You can go to the Sky Bridge, which is a 300-ton steel bridge at the top of the tower to enjoy 360-degree views of the city.

4. Al Rahma Mosque

Al Rahma Mosque

The Al Rahma mosque is located in Jeddah and is the most popular and one of the best places to visit in Jaddah. The mosque represents the modern Islamic architecture and consists of a turquoise-colored dome. It is also referred to as the ‘Floating Mosque’ which is attributed to how it appears like its floating on the Red Sea because it is constructed on stilts.

5. Masmak Fortress

Masmak Fortress

This beautiful fortress located in Riyadh has a palace and a museum inside and is among the most visited places in Saudi Arabia. The castle was built of clay and mud bricks and was first claimed by Emir Abdulazizi ibn Saud Al Saud from the House of Rasheed in 1902. Saudis later regained control of the fortress and the city and in 1995 the Masmak Place was turned into a museum where people can learn about the history of Saudi Arabia.

6. King Abdulaziz Historical Centre

King Abdulaziz Historical Centre

The King Abdulaziz Historical Centre is now called the National Museum and is located in I the middle of the Riyadh historical district. The museum has 8 halls that showcase the early human life, pre-Islamic Arabian Kingdoms the family tree of Prophet Muhammad the start of Islam I Saudi, the importance of Hajj and the two most important mosques in the Islami religion.

Diriyah

The town of Diriyah is located at the edge of Riyadh and has recently gained popularity to become one of the tourist destinations like by many. The town is home to the At-Turaif district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Al Saud royal family. Here you will mostly find buildings that are made of mud and bricks and narrow streets to separate the different parts of town.

8. Rijal Almaa

Rijal Almaa

The Rijal Almaa is a village in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia and was in the past an important commercial center that connected Makkah, Madina, Yemen and the Levant.

Here you will find about 60 multi story buildings constructed with wood, clay and stone. There are also many historic fortifications and a museum that was created in 1985 by the residents of the village.

9. Fakieh Aquarium

Fakieh Aquarium

The Fakieh Aquarium is a one-of-a-kind aquarium and the only in the whole of Saudi Arabia that is open to the general public. It is located in the north Corniche in Jeddah and is home to over 200 varieties of marine life. The marine life specimens are collected from oceans and seas across the world so you will learn a lot about the marine life when there.

If you are traveling with your family and especially young children, we recommend you attend the daily presentations of sea lions and dolphins and other marine life that are shown there.

10. King Fahd's Fountain

King Fahd's Fountain

The King Fahd Fountain is a monument standing in the red sea in Jeddah and has been there for over 30 years. You will easily see the fountain from anywhere in the city. The fountain also hosts magical light and water shows so it is a perfect place to visit especially during sunset.

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Family Travel in the Middle East

Visiting Saudi Arabia is Now Easier For GCC Residents

Saudi Arabia Welcomes GCC Residents w ithout Requiring Specific Professions

From 10 March 2023, the Saudi Tourism Authority has welcomed the expansion of the GCC residents visa, which is now open to all professions for those wanting to apply for a tourist visa.

GCC Residents Guide to Visiting Saudi Arabia - superimposed text over Elephant Rock Al Ula

The Saudi Tourist Visa was first launched in 2019 . Since this time, despite COVID temporarily closing borders, tourism numbers in 2022 jumped to 93 million visitors (including religious pilgrims).

If you are a resident of a GCC country (which includes those on work and family visas), you can now apply for the Saudi Tourist Visa without needing to state your profession.

Applications and visa information can be found at www.visa.visitsaudi.com

Who are the GCC countries?

The GCC – Gulf Cooperation Council – consists of the following countries

  • Kingdon of Bahrain
  • State of Kuwait
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • State of Qatar
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

You must have a valid residency permit for at least 3 months and at least 6 months left on your passport.

Our Articles About Visiting Saudi Arabia With Family

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

What to Wear in Saudi Arabia; Dress Code Advice For Tourists

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, known to many as KSA, is an extremely conservative country with a strict dress code despite recent changes to the law. If you plan to visit or move there with your family, it is absolutely crucial that you understand how to dress appropriately for Saudi Arabian culture. You can find…

Continue Reading What to Wear in Saudi Arabia; Dress Code Advice For Tourists

overhead view of freeways at twlight in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh

Launch of Riyadh Air – Saudi Arabia’s New Long-Haul Airline

Is it time for Emirates and Qatar Airways to start watching their backs? Newly announced Riyadh Air is causing a stir as it was announced the new Saudi Airline, with its operational hub to be in Riyadh, will be looking to take a slice of the very lucrative Middle East air traffic pie. Why is…

Continue Reading Launch of Riyadh Air – Saudi Arabia’s New Long-Haul Airline

FTME COVER - Places to Visit in Jeddah 1

8 Perfect Places to Visit in Jeddah With Family

If you ever journey to Saudi Arabia, then a visit to the commercial hub, Jeddah, is a must. Located in the middle of the eastern coast of the Red Sea, Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and is famous for being the Gateway to Mecca.  With its beaches, resorts, shopping malls, restaurants, and…

Continue Reading 8 Perfect Places to Visit in Jeddah With Family

Riyadh City lights at night

Fun Places to Visit in Riyadh with Kids

The capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, is the next city you should definitely add to your list of must-visit places in the Middle East. Located in the centre of the An-Nafud desert, Riyadh is the largest and most populous city of roughly 8 million people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since the opening of…

Continue Reading Fun Places to Visit in Riyadh with Kids

Al-Ula Beautiful Place in Saudi Arabia

10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia

The first things that come to mind when we hear someone talk about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are most likely oil, Sheikhs, Muslim pilgrimages, and of course, the desert. To be honest, Saudi Arabia might be the last country on one’s mind when it comes to planning a vacation, mainly because it wasn’t open…

Continue Reading 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia

View over kahab and Al Haram Mosque in Saudi Arabia

Performing Umrah With Kids

A personal account from our contributing writer Zeyna Sanjania Umrah is a visit to Makkah, the holiest city for Muslims located in Saudi Arabia, and is a spiritual journey taken by Muslims around the world to connect or reaffirm your spiritual relationship with Him. Sharing this experience with your child increases appreciation and gratitude but also requires…

Continue Reading Performing Umrah With Kids

More Tools and Resources For Visiting Saudi Arabia

Visit Saudi App ( Google Play | App Store ) – this will be your best companion for planning your trip. The Saudi Tourism Authority official app will keep you up to date with festivals, events and the ever-growing list of tourist attractions which are opening in Saudi Arabia.

www.nusuk.sa – in collaboration with the Pilgrim Experience Program, offers visitors a gateway to planning their journeys to Makkah and Madinah. From this platform, pilgrims can organise everything they need, from evisas to booking hotels and flights.

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Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Saudi Arabia relaxes visit visa rule for GCC residents, regardless of profession

Visitors can apply for both multiple-entry visa and single-entry visa on the official website, by web desk.

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Published: Thu 9 Mar 2023, 6:34 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 3:31 PM

The Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that all GCC residents can now apply for a visit visa to the Kingdom - irrespective of their professions.

Earlier, there was a list of accepted professions, available to check on the ministry website, that GCC residents had to fall under in order to be allowed to apply.

According to the website, visitors can apply for and receive a multiple-entry visa for up to 90 days. This permit would be valid for a year and would allow the holder to perform Umrah, except during the Haj season. They can also apply for a single-entry visa for up to 30 days, which is valid for three months from the date of issuance.

The cost of an eVisa is "SAR300 plus full health insurance fees".

The following are the eligibility requirements:

1. The applicant must be at least 18 years old. For children under 18, the guardian must apply first.

2. The applicant's passport must be valid for at least six months, and the applicant must have a residency ID from a GCC country valid for no less than three months.

3. Visa holders can perform Umrah anytime except during the Haj season

4. The applicant must complete separate visa applications for each member of their direct family, and must accompany the member while entering the Kingdom.

5. For more information and apply for a visa go to www.visa.visitsaudi.com

Earlier, it was announced that the Kingdom would allow travellers to get a 96-hour entry permit to the country along with their flight tickets. The holder is allowed to perform Haj and Umrah with this transit visa .

Plan your journey to Makkah and Madinah online

The Saudi Tourism Authority earlier launched the Nusuk platform in collaboration with the Pilgrim Experience Program. Nusuk, is an official integrated digital platform that offers pilgrims and visitors an easy-to-use planning gateway for their journeys to Makkah and Madinah, and beyond. With Nusuk, travellers from all over the world can easily organise their entire visit, from applying for an eVisa to booking hotels and flights. To book Umrah travel, visit www.Nusuk.sa.

  • Ramadan 2023 in UAE: Demand for Umrah surges by 65% ahead of holy month
  • Haj 2023: UAE announces registration dates for pilgrims
  • New free Saudi transit visa comes into effect
  • 96-hour visa with flight ticket: Saudi airline announces new travel service

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3 new countries eligible for Saudi Arabia's e-Visa

3 new countries eligible for Saudi Arabia's e-Visa

Posted by Kerry Baggott on 13 May 2024

Citizens of Barbados, Bahamas and Grenada can now apply for Saudi's electronic visa programme

As part of its efforts to boost tourism, Saudi Arabia has broadened its list of countries whose nationals are able to apply for visit visas electronically or upon arrival at one of the kingdom’s international ports.

The addition of Barbados, the Commonwealth of Bahamas and Grenada sees the total number of eligible countries increase to 66.

People from these countries can now apply online or on arrival for a visa to visit Saudi for the purposes of business and leisure tourism, and to perform Umrah.

In addition to these new countries, the e-visa is already available to residents of the US, UK and EU. Residents of GCC countries are also eligible.

RELATED: Almosafer and Red Sea Global partner to promote luxury tourism in Saudi  Almosafer report unveils Saudi Arabia's travel trends Accor outlines plans for Saudi expansion

The move by the Ministry of Tourism aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s global connectivity, stimulate economic diversification and help achieve the tourism goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan for national development and diversification.

As part of that Vision, the goal is to increase the tourism industry’s contribution to GDP beyond 10% and create one million jobs.

According to figures released in February 2024, Saudi Arabia drew 27 million foreign tourists in 2023. Authorities are looking to see that figure hit 70 million by 2030.

For more information, visit  www.visitsaudi.com    

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visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

GCC unified tourist visa: For Dh4,000, visitors can soon explore multiple Gulf countries

L ocal and global travel agencies will soon roll out packages for tourists who will visit the Gulf region ahead of the launch of the unified GCC tourist visa.

Travel and tourism industry executives say that packages which will include a couple of night stays in three countries could cost visitors Dh4,000-Dh5,000 and above, covering travel, hotel and sightseeing in three countries.

During a ministerial discussion at the Arabian Travel Market last week, officials said that the systems to launch the 'GCC Grand Tours' visa will be in place by the end of this year. The visa will be similar to a Schengen-style visa, allowing visa holders to explore all six Gulf countries.

Rehan Asad, vice president for global markets at Expedia, said the unified GCC tourist visa is a really meaningful positive change for this region.

He added that when Europe started the Schengen visa, it really amplified and helped the region’s tourism sector and allowed people to do cross-flight from one to another country. “People from UAE love to travel to Saudi Arabia and Oman and vice-versa, hence, this will drive intra-country traffic and help develop tourism even further,” he said.

“People want convenience in this entire journey during the GCC tour. We found that children aged 8-14 play a critical role in deciding the family destination, vacation and hotel. We will be rolling out very soon a combined year-end hotels, cars and activities tour packages. We are looking at segments and what are the needs of customers. We have done a thorough research in 10 million-plus population look for what kind of package and based on the people’s needs, we will be rolling out packages,” he said.

He added that these packages will be “dynamic and not pre-bundled”, but people will have options to choose from different options.

“Our initial primary focus will be UAE and then Saudi Arabia. People will find our offerings throughout GCC.”

He said the upcoming GCC unified tourist visa is one of the very critical factors that Expedia is expanding operations in the GCC.

He added that events also drive travel and tourism in the region such as Expo 2020 and Fifa World Cup Qatar etc., that have put the region in the spotlight for tourism.

Anas Anane, associate executive at Traveazy, said this unified GCC tourist visa will be a big plus for the travel and tourism sector.

“It should be starting from Dh1,500 per person for one country including transfers, flights and sightseeing. The cost will also depend on the peak or off-peak period that people are visiting the GCC countries.”

He estimated that it would approximately cost Dh4,000-Dh5,000 for tourists visiting a couple of days stay each in UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, covering flights, hotels, transfer and excursions in selective countries.

Mohammed Farooz, executive secretary at Last Minute Tourism, said many companies are already focusing on the launches of packages. “We will soon be rolling out a package for Dubai, Oman and Qatar markets in a couple of months. This will include three nights each in Dubai and Oman. Similarly, three nights each in Dubai and Qatar. People who will buy our packages, will first land in Dubai and then move on to next destinations in the region,” he said.

Farooz added that packages are more affordable, costing around 25 per cent cheaper because of bundle offers.

Ross Veitch, chief executive officer and co-founder of Wego, said this unified GCC tourist visa will be a big incentive for inbound tourism and also for residents of the regional countries.

“This unified GCC visa will make the region even more popular, especially among the Chinese inbound visitors like we have seen in Europe and Southeast Asia. It is common among Chinese visitors that they land in Bangkok, and spend a few days in Thailand, followed by a few days each in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. I think they will do the similar here in this region also after the rollout of the unified tourist visa. They can land in Jeddah to have a taste of Arabia there and then come to Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and then return home,” said Veitch.

He added that people are increasingly mixing business and leisure travel in the post-Covid period and he sees this trend gaining momentum following the rollout of the unified GCC tourist visa.

GCC unified tourist visa: For Dh4,000, visitors can soon explore multiple Gulf countries

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Visa Free Countries for Saudi Iqama Holders and GCC Residents

Edge of the world. Riyadh

As the Eid-Al-Fitr break approaches, it’s the perfect time to plan a rejuvenating holiday with family and friends. For Saudi residents holding Iqama, a number of travel destinations offer visa-free entry, making your travel a hassle-free experience.

From vibrant cityscapes to tranquil beaches, here are some visa-free destinations for Saudi Iqama holders to explore during the break.

Experience the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation in Japan, where ancient temples stand alongside futuristic skyscrapers. Recently announcing e-visas for Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents, Japan invites travelers to discover its vibrant cities, serene landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.

Japan

Journey to the land of pharaohs and pyramids, where history comes to life amidst the sands of time. With on-arrival visas valid for 30 days, Saudi residents can explore Egypt’s iconic landmarks, from the majestic Sphinx to the timeless wonders of Luxor and Aswan.

Egypt

Venture into the heart of the Caucasus and discover the breathtaking beauty of Georgia. With visa-free entry for Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents, Georgia invites travelers to explore its snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and charming villages steeped in tradition.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Just a short journey away, Bahrain welcomes Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents with open arms. Whether you’re drawn to its bustling souks, historic sites, or luxurious resorts, Bahrain offers a seamless on-arrival visa process at the airport or via the iconic King Fahad Causeway.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Experience the fusion of tradition and modernity in Kuwait, where ancient history coexists with contemporary architecture. With convenient on-arrival visas available at borders and airports, Saudi Iqama holders can immerse themselves in Kuwait’s vibrant cultural scene and bustling city life.

Kuwait

While not offering visa-free entry, the UAE boasts a streamlined e-visa process, ensuring a seamless journey for Saudi residents. From the dazzling skyscrapers of Dubai to the cultural treasures of Abu Dhabi, the UAE promises a world of luxury, entertainment, and unparalleled hospitality.

Burj Khalifa

Embark on a journey through history in Jordan, where ancient wonders meet modern marvels. Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents can enjoy on-arrival visas, with different regulations at each of the country’s three borders. From the mesmerizing Petra to the tranquil shores of the Dead Sea, Jordan promises a captivating escape.

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

Discover the magic of Oman, where rugged landscapes merge with Arabian hospitality. Offering on-arrival visas at airports and borders, Oman invites Saudi residents to explore its diverse terrain, from the dramatic fjords of Musandam to the golden dunes of the Wahiba Sands.

Oman

Escape to the enchanting shores of Tunisia, where azure waters meet sun-kissed beaches. Offering visa-free entry to GCC residents and Saudi Iqama holders, Tunisia beckons with its rich history, vibrant markets, and picturesque landscapes along the Mediterranean coast.

Tunisia

Step back in time in Armenia, where ancient monasteries dot the rugged landscape, and hospitality knows no bounds. Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents can obtain on-arrival visas at borders or airports, unlocking a world of cultural treasures, from the stunning Geghard Monastery to the vibrant streets of Yerevan.

Armenia

So where are you heading this long-break?

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

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GCC's unified visa to be rolled out soon: Here's what you should know

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Dubai: In a significant move to make travelling to the GCC countries simple and hassle-free, a unified visa system that allows the visa holder to stay up to 30 days in these countries, is likely to be launched by the end of this year. The GCC council has permitted to proceed with the unified visa that enables the visitor to enter the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Oman. Currently, separate visas are required to visit each country. The tourism ministers of the GCC countries hoped that the unified visa system would provide an impetus to the tourism sector of the region.

The ministerial-level seminar that was conducted as part of the Arabian Travel Market opined that creating a corridor by linking the major tourist attractions in the Gulf countries would pave the way for healthy competition and cooperation. This would then enable the GCC countries to highlight their incredible tourism potential to the world. The ministers said that the unified visa system would be a significant milestone in initiating developmental activities based on tourism. The meeting was of the opinion that a common visa would be helpful in projecting the Gulf countries as fabulous tourist destinations that are interconnected. Moreover, the GCC countries would be turned into a single tourism unit when the GCC railways too get materialised. Besides, the unified visa system could attract more investment to the airports and cruise terminals in the GCC countries.

Features of the visa The new visa will make travel in the GCC area more affordable and convenient for tourists. It will also improve and increase the activities offered to tourists. At the same time, unlike the Schengen visa, the GCC visa is meant for travellers who have a diverse business portfolio. The visa will also be beneficial to those travelling to the Gulf for Haj and Umra as well as those on short trips. In the first stage, the aim is to maximise cooperation between the GCC countries, which will facilitate the exchange of skilled labour in the second stage. The proposed rail link connecting the Gulf countries also necessitates the implementation of the unified visa regime.

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The Gulf Countries’ Visa Is Coming. Will It Be Enough to Land Taylor Swift? 

Josh Corder , Skift

May 7th, 2024 at 10:33 AM EDT

A GCC unified visa could prompt many things, including some fleeting visits by superstars.

Josh Corder

A Taylor Swift tour is on Saudi Arabia’s radar. That’s not saying much of course – Swift is on every destination’s radar . But Saudi says such a concert could be in the country’s future if the wider Arabia does more to promote itself as a unified destination.

“If we [the GCC] want the Taylor Swifts of the world, we can do it if we collaborate and get an Arabian tour [finalized],” said Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) CEO Fahd Hamidaddin at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Dubai’s biggest travel trade show.

Hamidaddin was on a panel discussing the rollout of the region’s “GCC zone” visa – a single travel permit akin to the Schengen zone that will allow travelers across Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

Swift’s Eras Tour is ongoing until the winter with 150+ shows on five continents. She does not have any stops in the GCC, despite Saudi and the UAE investing heavily in their events infrastructure.

Taylor Swift Isn’t Playing Brisbane, So Why is Its Airport Braced for a ‘Swiftie Surge’?

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The phenomenal impact of the ‘Swift Lift’ is being seen by travel and tourism companies around the world – even when Taylor isn’t visiting the city in question.

Qatar too has a string of dormant FIFA stadiums perfect for massive concerts.

Saudi is no stranger to using superstars to promote its tourism agenda. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are on the payroll, living and working in the kingdom. Both often promote key tourism destinations in the country and appear in ad campaigns.

In the events tourism segment, Saudi is a big player in WWE and other fighting sports and Abu Dhabi plays host to numerous UFC games.

The GCC Zone

This visa was first mentioned in May 2023 at a conference in Dubai, where the countries’ ministers shared their hopes to unite the GCC so tourists would consider cross-country travel like they do in Europe.

It was then approved in October last year. At ATM, government officials said the “platform” should be completed before the end of 2024.

How could a unified visa help land big acts? Countries’ tourism orgs are aligning on packages to sell to visitors.

On stage, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister for Economy UAE said that the visa will include “grand packages” a month in length.

“The unified tourist visa will allow travelers to visit all six countries,” he said. Through the GCC grand tours we are aiming to finish, tourists will spend more than 30 days in the region.”

Another panelist added that the new visa will primarily bump up length of stay in the Gulf. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said: “One of the main aims is to extend the length of stay. In leisure, people can travel up to four weeks. We want them to combine their holidays across the GCC.”

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Tags: gcc visa , middle east report , taylor swift , Tourism news

Photo credit: Taylor Swift performing on-stage during the Eras Tour concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, August, 9, 2023. Paolo Villanueva / Wikimedia

Gulf Business

US energy secretary to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE next week, officials say

visit visa to saudi arabia for gcc residents

The visit is a continuation of long-standing engagement between the US and this region

Reuters

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE next week to work on “climate co-operation” and other issues, two Biden administration officials told Reuters on Friday.

The visit will run from Tuesday through Thursday, with Granholm visiting the UAE first, one of the officials said. It will be her first trip to the region as secretary.

“The visit is a continuation of long-standing engagement between the US and this region,” the officials said.

“Specifically, for the Department of Energy , it will move forward work both countries are doing on climate cooperation and to diversify the energy economy.”

Granholm will participate in a meeting of the Net-Zero Producers Forum, a group of countries representing 40 per cent of global oil and gas production, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the sources said.

The group, which works on ways to cut emissions such as abatement of methane and deployment of clean energy, was formed in 2021.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are both members of OPEC , which is debating whether to extend output cuts.

The Net-Zero meeting was planned long in advance and Granholm does not plan to discuss oil policy with counterparts on the trip, one of the sources said.

The Biden administration and Saudi Arabia are nearing an agreement for security guarantees and civilian nuclear assistance, even as an Israel-Saudi normalisation deal envisioned as part of a Middle East “grand bargain” remains elusive, sources told Reuters this month.

Those talks are being led by White House officials and the State Department, but not Granholm.

Read: OPEC+ likely to extend oil production cuts in June: Insight

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Saudi Arabia expands e-visa entry permit to 3 more countries

Travel & tourism.

The e-visa permits multiple entries for a year with 90-day stays

Stock-Saudi-Skyline

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has broadened its electronic visa (e-visa) accessibility to include citizens from Barbados, the Bahamas, and Grenada.

As per reports from the Saudi Press Agency , citizens are now able to apply online or upon arrival, with the list of eligible countries extended to 66.

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministries of Interior and Tourism, announced that nationals from these three countries can acquire a visitor visa electronically or upon arrival at any of the Kingdom's international ports.

This initiative comes within Saudi Arabia’s efforts to provide an unforgettable tourist experience for visitors coming from various parts of the world.

The initiative aligns with the Ministry of Tourism's strategy to enhance global connectivity, stimulate economic diversification, and achieve Vision 2030's tourism goals, including a 10 per cent+ GDP contribution from tourism and creating one million jobs.

Tourist visa extended 

In addition to these new countries, the tourist visa extends to residents of the US, UK, EU, and holders of visit visas from these regions.

Residents of GCC countries are also eligible, allowing for tourism, Umrah pilgrimage, visiting family, and attending events.

Furthermore, transit visas for Saudia and flynas airlines permit a 96-hour stay.

The Ministry introduced the visit visa in September 2019 to showcase Saudi Arabia's tourism offerings and promote cultural experiences.

The e-visa system will expand to include more countries as the Kingdom's tourism sector grows.

Eligible countries are: 

North america.

Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Grenada, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, United States

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Azerbaijan, Brunei, China (Including Hong Kong And Macau), Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan

Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Oceania, Australia, New Zealand

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  2. SAUDI VISA

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  3. Saudi Arabia 1 Year Multiple Entry Visa for GCC Residents Only 🇸🇦 #

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  4. How to apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident?

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  5. How To Apply For Saudi E-Visa For GCC Residents Online

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  6. Saudi Visit Visa for GCC Residents: Requirements, Cost, Application

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  1. FAQ 4

  2. Saudi Business E Visa Bad News

  3. Family Visit Visa ONLINE CHAMBER

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  5. Good News For Expats In Gulf , Saudi Visit VISA For All Professionals & Workers In GCC Countries

  6. Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa For GCC Residents All you Need To Know

COMMENTS

  1. Saudi eVisa

    Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to the world through its new tourist visa. Through the fast and easy-to-use online portal, international visitors from 66 eligible countries can apply for an eVisa and discover the warm hospitality of Saudi people the rich heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse and breathtaking landscapes; from the mountains of Abha to the beaches of the Red Sea to the ...

  2. How To Apply For Saudi E-Visa For GCC Residents Online

    Saudi Visa for GCC Residents . Saudi Arabia now accepts online applications for tourist visas from GCC residents. The new rule came into effect starting September 1, 2022 and can benefit all GCC residents, including expatriates. Also, this visa permits its holders to perform Umrah outside of Hajj season.

  3. How to apply for Saudi visa as GCC resident?

    Step 1: Create an account. Step 2: Personal Information. Step 3: GCC Information. Step 4: Saudi Visa Details. Step 5: Insurance Details. Step 6: Pay the fee. Terms & Conditions. GCC residents (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) can apply for a Saudi visa online if they meet certain conditions. 9 visa-free countries for Saudi Iqama holders.

  4. Saudi Visit Visa for GCC Residents: Requirements, Cost, Application

    Saudi Arabia visit visa for GCC residents for Umrah. During the 1445 AH Umrah season, Saudi Arabia introduced a variety of visa options to facilitate the pilgrimage experience for GCC residents. Among these options is the Saudi Arabia visit visa for GCC residents, which not only allows GCC residents to visit the kingdom but also grants them the ...

  5. How to apply for the Saudi eVisa as a GCC resident

    The visa fee for the Saudi Arabia eVisa costs QR 290.67 (USD 79.83). However, health insurance is also required and costs additional. Apart from this, the following costs apply per visa application: Electronic Visa Processing Fee - QR 36.41 or USD 10. Banking Service Fee - QR 1.82 or USD 0.5.

  6. GCC residents can apply for tourist visa to Saudi Arabia regardless of

    Residents in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can now attain a Saudi tourist visa regardless of their profession, Ahmed al-Khateeb, the Kingdom's tourism minister, said on Thursday ...

  7. Here's how UAE, GCC residents can apply for a Saudi eVisa

    Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism announced a new Ministerial Decree that will allow faster, easier access to the country. New regulations will enable Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents the ...

  8. How UAE-based expats can apply for the Saudi eVisa online

    The e-visa for GCC residents costs 300 Saudi riyals (Dh293.25) along with the cost for the health insurance fee. So, the total cost will vary depending on the health insurance coverage you select.

  9. Guide to Saudi Arabia's e-Visa for GCC Residents

    The e-visa system for Saudi Arabia significantly simplifies visiting the Kingdom for GCC residents, opening up the country's rich heritage and modern wonders for exploration. By understanding and adhering to the e-Visa requirements and process, GCC residents can enjoy a seamless travel experience to Saudi Arabia, enriching their cultural and ...

  10. Saudi Arabia allows GCC residents to apply for tourist e-visa online

    Image Credit: REUTERS. Dubai: Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism said on Thursday that residents in the GCC countries are allowed to apply for a tourist visa online, while residents in the UK ...

  11. GCC residents can now apply online for Saudi tourist visa

    The visa is available to apply online through the government's Visit Saudi platform, and the simplified process "will allow individuals to explore the various regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah rituals". The Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah said that all residents of GCC countries can apply for Umrah visas ...

  12. Saudi Arabia offers electronic tourist visa to GCC residents

    Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism has introduced a new visa scheme for residents of the GCC states. GCC residents will be able to to apply for an electronic tourist visa (eVisa) on the 'Visit ...

  13. Saudi eVisa: 4-step guide to applying for entry into the kingdom

    The Saudi eVisa for GCC residents (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar & United Arab Emirates) has become easy to obtain, as the kingdom relaxes its visa entry rules. Foreign nationals who live and have a residency permit in one of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), and hold an eligible passport, can obtain their online Saudi eVisa and stay in the ...

  14. Saudi visa for GCC residents- Easy Guide with 2024 updates

    Saudi visa for GCC residents- Easy Guide with 2024 updates. Even though citizens of the GCC countries do not need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia, residents of these countries must get a Saudi visa in order to be allowed entry. The Saudi government however in September 2019 issued out new reforms that align with the Saudi Vision 2030.

  15. Visiting Saudi Arabia is Now Easier For GCC Residents

    From 10 March 2023, the Saudi Tourism Authority has welcomed the expansion of the GCC residents visa, which is now open to all professions for those wanting to apply for a tourist visa. The Saudi Tourist Visa was first launched in 2019. Since this time, despite COVID temporarily closing borders, tourism numbers in 2022 jumped to 93 million ...

  16. Saudi Arabia eases tourist eVisa for GCC residents, Schengen visa holders

    Saudi Arabia will allow GCC residents to easily apply for eVisas while residents of the UK, US and EU can get a visa on arrival, the Kingdom announced on Thursday. The announcement was made ...

  17. Saudi travel: GCC residents can now apply for eVisa through online

    Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism has announced today a new Ministerial Decree that will allow faster, easier access to the country. New regulations will enable Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC ...

  18. Saudi Arabia: E-Visa Eligibility Expanded to GCC Residents of All

    The e-visa was originally only opened to individuals of 49 countries and was eventually expanded in 2021 to additional foreign nationals, including GCC residents in select occupations. GCC residents can obtain the e-visa by applying through the Visit Saudi platform if their residency permit is valid for at least three months and their passport ...

  19. Saudi Arabia relaxes visit visa rule for GCC residents, regardless of

    The Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that all GCC residents can now apply for a visit visa to the Kingdom - irrespective of their professions.

  20. All GCC residents, irrespective of their profession, can now get Saudi

    Dubai: Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced that all expatriate residents in GCC countries, irrespective of their profession, will be allowed to obtain a tourist visa. The decision was announced by ...

  21. Saudi Arabia to offer e-visas to all GCC residents

    The new regulation allows GCC residents to apply for an e-visa through the online portal. UK, US and EU residents are permitted to apply for Visa on Arrival. Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb announced that Saudi Arabia is now more accessible to tourism. Holders of a valid tourist or business visa from the UK, US or a ...

  22. 3 new countries eligible for Saudi...

    The addition of Barbados, the Commonwealth of Bahamas and Grenada sees the total number of eligible countries increase to 66. People from these countries can now apply online or on arrival for a visa to visit Saudi for the purposes of business and leisure tourism, and to perform Umrah. In addition to these new countries, the e-visa is already ...

  23. A Multi-Nation Visa Will Likely Roll Out In The Middle East This Year

    The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. getty. The head of Saudi Arabian tourism wants Taylor Swift to bring her tour to the Middle East.Of course he does; Swift ...

  24. GCC unified tourist visa: For Dh4,000, visitors can soon explore ...

    L ocal and global travel agencies will soon roll out packages for tourists who will visit the Gulf region ahead of the launch of the unified GCC tourist visa. Travel and tourism industry ...

  25. Visa Free Countries for Saudi Iqama Holders and GCC Residents

    Jordan. Embark on a journey through history in Jordan, where ancient wonders meet modern marvels. Saudi Iqama holders and GCC residents can enjoy on-arrival visas, with different regulations at each of the country's three borders. From the mesmerizing Petra to the tranquil shores of the Dead Sea, Jordan promises a captivating escape.

  26. GCC's unified visa to be rolled out soon: Here's what you should know

    The GCC council has permitted to proceed with the unified visa that enables the visitor to enter the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Oman. Currently, separate visas are required to visit each country. The tourism ministers of the GCC countries hoped that the unified visa system would provide an impetus to the tourism ...

  27. Gulf Countries' Visa Is Coming. Can They Land Taylor Swift?

    A GCC unified visa could prompt many things, including some fleeting visits by superstars. A Taylor Swift tour is on Saudi Arabia's radar. That's not saying much of course - Swift is on ...

  28. US energy secretary to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE next week

    Every 51st resident in Dubai is a millionaire, reveals World's Wealthiest Cities report GCC, Industry ATM 2024: UAE reveals details of GCC's Schengen-styled 'Grand Tours' visa

  29. Saudi Arabia expands e-visa entry permit to 3 more countries

    The e-visa permits multiple entries for a year with 90-day stays Residents of GCC countries are also eligible, allowing for tourism, Umrah pilgrimage, visiting family, and attending events. Image ...