MPs welcomed reports which indicated that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are working on a unified visa akin to Europe’s Schengen which could be adopted starting next year and hoped that the idea could pave the way for further collaboration in economy and other fields. Meanwhile, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi told Al-Rai daily that the project was an idea he proposed during his service period at the Interior Ministry. “I forwarded the project at the time to then Undersecretary Lieutenant General Ahmad Al-Rujaib, who asked me to join him at the meeting of undersecretaries of interior ministries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, he said. “There, he promoted my project to the General Secretariat of the GCC, and praise be to God, plans are going forward,” he added. According to Al-Awadhi, the project is an “original Kuwaiti idea that serves merchants, directors and doctors”.
MP Mubarak Al-Hurais said that the idea has been entertained by economists in the region during the past decade, adding that he supports it “as long as it achieves economic unity”.
The unified GCC tourist visa project will be put into operation soon, as obstacles to its implementation have been overcome, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily quoted a source as saying the project will allow tourists to visit all GCC countries without difficulty, as multiple entry visas could be issued for one month or a year.
The project if implemented will become the biggest and most inclusive venture for security cooperation between the GCC countries, with the creation of a unified GCC security inquiry system to register the names of people who are banned from entering any of the GCC countries, according to the record of each member country.
The unified visa project will not replace the traditional method used for obtaining entry visas to GCC countries, particularly for those who want to visit specific GCC countries.