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UAE's Initiative for Visa-Free Travel

UAE’s Initiative for Visa-Free Travel For Gulf Residents To Boost Tourism

DATE: 20 Nov, 2023

GCC(Gulf Cooperation Council) nationals have long cherished the freedom to move across borders without the constraints of visas, thanks to their partnership. However, foreign residents, a significant segment of the GCC’s population, are required to obtain visas for intra-GCC travel.

Now, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is exploring an innovative visa system that has the potential to revolutionise Gulf tourism. This groundbreaking initiative aims to streamline travel for GCC citizens, with a particular emphasis on Saudi Arabia. By simplifying the travel process, this visionary program is set to enhance tourism and foster closer economic ties within the region.

A New Chapter in Accessibility

The proposed visa system envisions granting visa-free travel to GCC residents, marking a significant step towards greater inclusion. The visionary program was unveiled by UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri during a conference in Abu Dhabi, signalling its forthcoming implementation. 

Now, let’s delve into the specifics and significance of this momentous development, explored under the following headings:

1. Elevating Regional Tourism

The primary boon of this initiative lies in the expansion of GCC tourism. Simplified travel makes the Gulf states all the more appealing to tourists from the GCC region and beyond. The prospect of visiting Saudi Arabia or the UAE without the burden of visas feels like a dream come true.

2. Cultivating Economic Collaboration

The visa-free policy transcends the realm of tourism, fostering economic cooperation and diplomatic relations. It paves the way for increased cross-border trade, investments, and partnerships, fortifying the bonds between these nations. Enhanced regional integration and collaboration across various sectors could contribute to a more closely-knit and thriving Gulf community.

Beyond Tourism: A Path to Holistic Collaboration

This groundbreaking development extends its benefits beyond tourism and business. It paves the way for enhanced collaboration in the realms of education, healthcare, and cultural exchange. With streamlined transportation, the Gulf community becomes more interconnected and better poised to seize a multitude of opportunities including real estate investments.

Visa-free travel for Gulf citizens underscores the UAE and GCC’s forward-thinking and innovative approach. While the specifics of implementation and deadlines are still in the works, this pioneering visa system symbolises a collective vision for increased cooperation, unity, and prosperity across the Gulf region.


The UAE’s exploration of visa-free travel for Gulf citizens across the GCC is a significant stride toward a more interconnected and tourism-friendly Gulf community. It exemplifies the shared aspiration of GCC nations to build a more integrated and dynamic future that ushers in shared prosperity.

Owing to this restriction-free access to the nations within the GCC, if you are planning to take a retirement visa to stay and invest in Dubai we suggest you take a look at our latest project, Imperial Avenue from the house of Shapoorji Properties, the best real estate developer in Dubai. You’ll unlock access to an uber-luxe living experience in the heart of the UAE.


Can UAE residents travel to GCC without a visa?

Visa-free travel within the GCC is limited to citizens of member countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.

How can I get a UAE visit visa for GCC residents?                                     

You can apply for E-Visa through the ICA Smart Services website.

How much does a UAE visa cost for GCC residents?Visit this website for latest prices

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