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Arab Schengen

Arab Schengen can be operational in 2024

A unified Gulf tourist visa, dubbed the Arab Schengen, could be launched by the end of 2024, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) said.

He said the system will be in place by the end of this year, with experts working day and night to launch it as soon as possible. “We don’t want to make life difficult for people and yet we want to maintain the same level of security. With this initiative, we will see a positive result for the regional economy,” Al Midfa said.

Abdullah bin Tuq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the regional tourist visas will be called GCC Grand Tours. They will allow tourists to stay for more than 30 days in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The new system will help attract and retain tourists in the region for a longer period, thereby increasing the period of their stay in hotels and making the Gulf region one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa said that the UAE and other Gulf countries are working with major tour operators and companies to introduce packages that will cover the entire region. Negotiations are also underway with hotels and airlines for partnerships.

Once the unified Gulf tourist visa is implemented, companies and tour operators will automatically start offering combined packages. Thus, tourists’ stay in the region could increase from two to three nights to two to three weeks.

Source: Arabian Business

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