Citizens of 33 countries, including Saudi Arabia and India, no longer need a visa to visit Iran. These nationals have been granted visa waivers so that they can enter the country without a visa. Iranian Heritage and Tourism Minister Issatullah Dargami said that citizens of 33 countries including Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Lebanon will no longer need a visa to enter Iran.
He emphasized that the government is determined to open the country’s doors to the world. Tourism is the right of all people of the world. The minister said that apart from medical tourism, Iran is one of the attractive countries with nature and they are preparing an opportunity for the world to enjoy these features.
At the same time, the issuance of single tourist visas initiated by the Gulf states on the Schengen visa model may be delayed. Governments are working to integrate their systems and security aspects ahead of visa issuance, Khaleej Times reported, quoting a senior official. “There is a delay in getting out,” says Issam Qasim, CEO, of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. An improved visa with all the features will be released soon. This will lead to a huge boost in the tourism sector of the region. He expressed hope that tourists will flock to the Gulf countries as well as to Europe.
Governments in the region have recently approved a single GCC tourist visa that allows visitors to visit all six Gulf Arab countries on a single visa.
The UAE’s Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Tuq Al Marri, also recently said that specific regulations and legislation for visas will be developed between 2024 and 2025, subject to the readiness of each GCC country’s domestic systems. Discussions to determine visa fees are also progressing. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are believed to be big beneficiaries of this new visa as Dubai is a global tourist destination, while Saudi Arabia attracts a large number of religious tourists to Mecca and Medina. Therefore, experts in the field also predict that there will be a strong flow of tourists between these two countries.