Visa Options for UAE Residents Traveling to GCC Countries
As a UAE resident, you have the privilege of traveling to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait – either on an eVisa or visa-free. Depending on your nationality or profession, you may be able to get a visa on arrival or an eVisa.
Recent developments in Saudi Arabia have made it possible for GCC residents to apply for an eVisa regardless of their profession, while Oman has expanded its categories eligible for visa on arrival and visa-free entry. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of your visa options as a UAE resident traveling in the GCC.
Visa Option for UAE Residents traveling to Saudi Arabia:
Visitors to Saudi Arabia can obtain a visa on arrival or an eVisa, depending on their nationality or profession. According to visitsaudi.com, the three categories of visitors who can get a visa on arrival are:
- Tourists from 49 eligible countries.
- Permanent residents of the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union (EU).
- Holders of tourist or business visas from the UK, US, or Schengen Area.
Additionally, on March 9, 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announced that all GCC expatriate residents, regardless of their profession, can apply for an eVisa. The eVisa is also available to first-degree relatives of GCC residents and domestic workers who travel with their sponsors, provided they have a valid residency visa from a GCC country. With this eVisa, UAE residents can visit family and friends, explore the country, and perform Umrah anytime except during the Hajj season.
To be eligible for the Saudi eVisa, GCC residents must meet certain conditions, such as having a valid residency document for at least three months and a passport valid for at least six months. Applicants must also be at least 18 years old if they are traveling without their parents.
Visa Option for UAE Residents traveling to Qatar:
According to the Visit Qatar website – visitqatar.com – which is the country’s official tourism platform, here are the visa options for visitors:
1. Visa on Arrival: Over 95 countries are eligible for visas on arrival, with varying duration of stay and requirements depending on nationality.
2. Visa Waiver: Nationals of India, Pakistan, Ukraine, Iran, and Thailand are eligible for a visa on arrival if they hold a hotel reservation made through Discover Qatar website and are allowed to stay for 30 days.
3. Hayya Card Holders: Non-resident fans and organizers can use their Hayya Card to attend the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. UAE residents with a Hayya Card can travel visa-free to Qatar, provided they have a confirmed hotel reservation or approved family/friend accommodation through the Hayya Portal, a passport valid for at least three months, valid health insurance, and return tickets.
4. Qatar Visa on Arrival for GCC residents with approved professions: UAE residents can get a visa on arrival if they have a profession approved by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, a valid passport, and UAE residence permit valid for at least six months.
If none of these options apply, visitors must apply for a Qatar visit visa through an authorized travel agent in their home country or at a Qatari embassy.
Visa Option for UAE Residents traveling to Oman:
For UAE residents planning to travel to Oman, there are several visa options available. Tourists from over 103 countries can enter Oman visa-free for up to 14 days, and Indian tourists can obtain a visa on arrival if they have an entry visa for certain countries.
UAE residents can also obtain a visa on arrival for Oman, regardless of their nationality, as long as they work in an approved profession listed by the Royal Oman Police. The visa requires a valid passport of at least six months, a UAE residency permit of at least six months, and a recent colored passport-sized photograph. The visa can be a single entry permit valid for one month or a multiple entry visa valid for one year, with each stay not exceeding one month.
You can find the approved list of professions through this link: evisa.rop.gov.om
Visa Option for UAE Residents traveling to Bahrain:
For those UAE residents who want to travel to Bahrain, the country provides visa on arrival for over 60 nationalities, allowing them to stay for more than 14 days. You can verify if your nationality is eligible for a visa on arrival through the Bahrain Nationality, Passports and Residency Affairs (NPRA) website. UAE residents in skilled professions are also eligible for visa on arrival and can stay for up to two weeks on a single entry permit, according to NPRA. However, there are certain conditions that must be met to qualify for the visa, such as a valid UAE residency permit of at least three months, a passport of at least six months, employment in a skilled profession, a return ticket, and hotel reservation details. Moreover, UAE residents employed in skilled professions can apply for a multiple-entry eVisa for Bahrain, which includes a one-month, three-month, or one-year multiple-entry visa. The NPRA eVisa portal or an authorized travel agent in your country can be used to apply for the multiple-entry visa for Bahrain.
You can check if your nationality is eligible for a visa on arrival through this link: https://www.evisa.gov.bh/list-of-onarrival-visa-country.html
You can apply for the multiple entry visa for Bahrain through the NPRA eVisa portal – www.evisa.gov.bh or through an authorised travel agent in your country.
Visa Option for UAE Residents traveling to Kuwait
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) of Kuwait has announced that it grants visas upon arrival to nationals of more than 50 countries. The full list of eligible countries can be found on the MOI’s website at https://evisa.moi.gov.kw/evisa/home_e.do.
If you are a UAE resident and your nationality is not on the list of countries eligible for visa-free entry, you can still obtain a Kuwait eVisa or tourist visa for GCC residents.
To apply for the eVisa, you must provide the following documents:
- A passport and UAE residence permit that are valid for at least six months.
- Proof of a return ticket.
- Details of your residence in Kuwait.
- Proof of your profession, which must be on the approved list. Approved professions include doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, judge, consultant, member of public prosecution, university teacher, journalist, press and media staff, pilot, system analyst, pharmacist, computer programmer, manager, businessman, diplomatic corps, owners, managers, and representatives of commercial companies and establishments, and university graduates.
To apply for a Kuwait eVisa for GCC residents, you can visit the MOI’s eVisa platform at evisa.moi.gov.kw or contact an authorized travel agent in your home country.
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