Home Travel & Hospitality GCC’s bid for Schengen visa exemption gains momentum

GCC’s bid for Schengen visa exemption gains momentum

by Tanvir Awan
Published: Last Updated on
GCC's bid for Schengen visa exemption gains momentum

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is set to make a significant stride in facilitating travel for its citizens as it endeavors to secure exemption from Schengen visas.

Jasem Albudaiwi, the Secretary General of the GCC, disclosed this initiative ahead of his upcoming visit to Brussels, the European capital, in an interview aired on Saudi Television Channel 1.

Albudaiwi articulated his intention to advocate for the exemption of Gulf citizens from the Schengen regime during his visit, scheduled for the second week of Ramadan. The Schengen visa, which currently enables non-Europeans to traverse freely across 27 European countries under the Schengen agreement, presents a bureaucratic hurdle for Gulf travellers.

If successful, this exemption would bring a sigh of relief to individuals from the Gulf region, streamlining their travel experience and circumventing the complexities of the existing visa procedures.

This prospective development aligns with the GCC’s broader vision of fostering regional integration and facilitating cross-border mobility. Notably, last year, the GCC unveiled plans for a Unified Tourist Visa aimed at promoting seamless movement within the region. The proposal, endorsed at the Doha Summit in December 2023, signifies a concerted effort to enhance tourism and economic cooperation among GCC member states.

Comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC continues to spearhead initiatives aimed at bolstering connectivity and facilitating the free movement of people across its member states.

tanvir@dubainewsweek.com

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