News: GCC's New Visa Laws

April 20, 2017

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are making changes to their visa programs to capitalize on the growing travel and tourism industry. According to an AMEinfo article, the travel and tourism industry contributed $7.6 trillion dollars to the global economy in 2016. This industry represents just over 10% of the global GDP.


There are six Arab countries that make up the GCC, these countries are: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These countries recognize the opportunities to generate economic growth and development by capturing their share of the travel and tourism industry and have adjusted their visa laws in hopes of making it easier for tourists to visit and stay in their countries.


GCCs New Visa Laws

Some of these new visa law changes include:



Under Bahrain's three month multiple re-entry visa, the maximum stay per visit has been increased from two weeks to a month.


Visitors from Canada, Ireland, the U.K., and the U.S. who receive a five year multiple entry visa are now able to stay in Bahrain for up to 90 days, instead of the previous 30 day limit.



As part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, KSA plans to begin issuing a number of tourist visas per year. The country did not issue travel visas prior to this plan.



Kuwait has a minimum monthly salary requirement for any expatriate who wants to bring their spouse or children to visit. This has recently been increased from $492 to $650. The minimum for bringing other family members has been raised to $984 and the requirement for foreigners to sponsor family members rose from $820 to $1,476.



Oman's rules for obtaining multiple entry visas for certain countries has eased up. Travelers from 38 countries can now stay for three months, rather than three weeks.



Since November 2016, Qatar has offered free transit visas for Qatar Airways passengers who have a minimum layover of five hours in Doha. This visa allows travelers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours. Passengers must apply for these entry visas at least seven days prior to departure.



Dubai has seen a 60% and 84% increase in visitors from China and Russian, respectively. In order to capitalize on this, Chinese travelers have been able to enter Dubai without the cost and time of obtaining a visa since November 2016. Dubai extended this same privilege to Russian nationals in February 2017.

To read more, please see: All you need to know about GCC's new visa laws.

Further Resources on Arabic Localization, Arabic Globalization and Arabic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)


Globalization Partners International (GPI) has extensive experience localizing marketing materials, technical documents, and large, scalable websites into the Arabic language. Due to increased demand for projects in Arabic and other BiDi languages, like Farsi, we have posted a number of useful guides to best practices in this area. Feel free to review our blogs that are particularly relevant:



Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our language and technology services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs.

Country Specific

Globalization Partners International to Sponsor DrupalConThe Malayalam Language


  • Ernesto elentoOn Mar 21, Ernesto elento said:
    What ido if i want to exit in saudi end iwill go to dubai becouse my relatives in dubai send me a visa end my comp. Fasible to send me in dubai
  • Ernesto elentoOn Mar 21, Ernesto elento said:
    What ido if i want to exit in saudi end iwill go to dubai becouse my relatives in dubai send me a visa end my comp. Fasible to send me in dubai
Contact Us FREE Globalization eBooks Request Demo Request Quote

Jade is a native Chinese speaker from Guangdong, China. She has a degree in English (Advanced Translation and Interpreting) from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Her experience includes providing Chinese translations and consecutive interpretations for global clients and events in the fields of travel, hospitality, finance and investments. She has served as a journalist/writer for Media Most Publishing, a banking relationship manager at RAK Bank and has completed freelance content work for Dubai Tourism and Conde Nast Traveller. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, short excursions to other Emirates, swimming, watching movies and playing table tennis.