UAE Likely To Introduce Vise-Free Entry For Gulf Countries
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is contemplating the implementation of a new visa-free entry policy for expatriates residing in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, aiming to simplify travel for individuals living in Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia.
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE’s Economy Minister, discussed this prospective visa system during an event in Abu Dhabi, outlining its objective of permitting GCC country residents to move freely among member nations. The GCC is a consortium consisting of six countries: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar. While citizens of these nations can already travel within the GCC without the need for visas, most foreign residents currently require one.
Despite the UAE and Saudi Arabia being competitors, Al Marri emphasized that any benefits accruing to Saudi Arabia would also have a positive impact on the entire Gulf region. He underscored the shared growth interests between the two countries.
Dubai, a prominent business hub in the Middle East located within the UAE, has witnessed an influx of expatriates. This influx is partly attributed to the UAE government’s efforts to foster a more inclusive society.
Al Marri pointed out that healthy competition is indicative of the growing popularity of the Gulf region. Facilitating easier travel for all residents across these countries will further stimulate tourism. In his words, “What benefits Saudi Arabia will be advantageous for the entire GCC,” and he added, “When the tide rises, it lifts all boats.”