tourist visa

UAE leads tourist visa accessibility ranking

The Emirates has been recognised as the leading Gulf country in terms of tourist visa accessibility, according to the Global Tourist Visa Openness Index 2023, published by the United Nations Tourism Organisation.

The UAE scored 67.80 points, ranking first and ahead of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait was found to be the least favourable among the GCC countries in terms of the availability of tourist visas, scoring just 12.96 points and coming in at the bottom of the regional list.

The index, which assesses the ease of obtaining visas for tourists, uses a scoring system from 0 to 100 points. The higher the score, the easier the visa process is for travellers from around the world.

The UN report noted a general trend towards visa facilitation in the Middle East, showing a decline in the need for traditional visas from 71 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2023.

During this period, the availability of e-visas increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent and visas on arrival from 17 per cent to 24 per cent. In addition, the reciprocal visa-free rate among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries increased sharply, from 2 per cent in 2018 to 87 per cent in 2023.

The report clarified that its methodology only takes into account rules affecting temporary visitors (tourists) with regular passports.

Source: Gulf News

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