The UAE and other GCC countries are working towards introducing a common visa system that will ease travel and give a boost to regional tourism. The disclosure was made by the UAE’s Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq at the on going Future Hospitality Summit in Abu Dhabi.Future Hospitality Summit in Abu Dhabi.
He said the UAE government was planning to launch a system “very soon” that will allow people to travel within the region under a single visa which is aimed as an impetus towards the tourism sector.
Abdulla bin Touq said, “Hopefully, we are going to see the something around a pan-GCC visa, which will allow easier mobility of people within the GCC. A resident of Saudi (Arabia), for instance, can enter the UAE and vice versa. I think that’s where we see the future of GCC tourism.”
UAE residents to travel visa-free within the GCC
The minister spoke of the vast tourism and hospitality sector infrastructure put in place in the UAE which ensures that when such a system is implemented the country will be ready for it. “The UAE has built an infrastructure to really accommodate all these types of tourism over the years,” he added.
“It’s always been an organic growth,” he said.
While the UAE has established itself as the leader in the tourism sector in the region, countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia are building their own infrastructure to attract global travellers. Touq said “I think competition … actually makes people innovate,” he said. “That’s something which is very healthy and important to have in the region.”