RIYADH — The Gulf Cooperation Council states have approved the Unified Tourist Visa, which will aloow free movement of tourists and visitors between the Gulf states.

"The approval of the Gulf Unified Tourist Visa is a historic step that reflects its commitment to enhancing cooperation and deepening ties in the field of tourism and various sectors," Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb said after the unified visa system was approved by the GCC's Supreme Council.

"It will also enhance the Gulf countries' status as a distinguished global tourist destination."

He emphasized that the approval of this visa aligns with the development and progress witnessed by the GCC countries across various levels, and it will have an effective impact on strengthening the desired connectivity and integration among the nations.

He added: "This visa will contribute to facilitating the movement of tourists and visitors between the Council countries, thereby boosting the role of tourism as an economic growth driver and opening new opportunities for investment in the tourism sector in each member state."

Al Khateeb also highlighted the Ministry of Tourism's keenness in the Kingdom to closely collaborate with its counterparts in the Gulf states to ensure the implementation and coordination of this step in the best possible ways, serving the tourism and economic sectors in the region.

The approval of the unified Gulf visa comes as a culmination of efforts led by the Kingdom when tourism ministers in the Gulf Cooperation Council adopted the Gulf Tourism Strategy during their meeting in Al-Ula in November last year. One of its most significant outcomes was the Unified Gulf Tourist Visa, with the Kingdom taking the lead in establishing the legislative framework for it.

This announcement reaffirmed the Kingdom's pioneering role in creating qualitative initiatives that contribute to enhancing the Gulf countries' status as a unified tourist destination in the region.

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