GCC expats can still get tourist visa for OMR5
May 10, 2017 | 9:56 PM
by Rahul Das/[email protected]
Tourists must now obtain the tourist visa for a minimum one month stay for OMR20; previously, they could buy a 10-day visa for OMR5.
 
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Muscat: Though the price of Oman’s tourist visa has been raised to OMR20, the OMR5 price is still applicable to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expatriates visiting Oman, according to travel agents working in the Sultanate.

According to the new rules, tourists must now obtain the tourist visa for a minimum one month stay for OMR20; previously, they could buy a 10-day visa for OMR5.

“There has been no change in tourist visa rates for expatriates from Kuwait visiting Oman. It still remains OMR5,” said Rajan Jayaraman, manager of Kuwait Airways in Oman.

Even other airlines from GCC countries confirmed that the rate is still OMR5.

“GCC expatriates holding resident cards of the countries where they reside can still get an Oman tourist visa for OMR5,” confirmed Joe Rajadurai, country manager, Oman, Qatar Airways.

A travel agent based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said: “Until now, everybody who has been to Oman from UAE have all paid the same rate — OMR 5 —for a single entry visa that lasts 10 days.”

Amy Subaey, organiser, UAE Trekkers, said: “Due to the affordability and appeal of Oman, GCC residents consider Oman as a regular and frequent alternative weekend destination when they need an escape for a few days. We have been seeing more adventurous clients from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia that are also taking advantage of cheaper airfares and convenient flight timings. This affordability is precisely why Oman is so popular; it translates into people taking multiple trips per year from nearby GCC countries.”

“If the visa fees were to increase along with other costs we see rising, such as fuel and hotel prices, it would not mean that these tourists would stop visiting Oman altogether, but it would likely mean that they do not come as frequently (perhaps only two to three times a year instead of two to three times a month),” she added.

UAE Trekkers organises treks in Oman’s mountains, deserts, and on the Oman coast involving residents and citizens from UAE.

Travel agents and tourists were caught in a limbo after the Royal Oman Police announced that tourists visiting Oman will have to pay OMR20 for a short stay visa. According to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), 2.6 million people visited Oman in 2015, reflecting an increase of 88 per cent, compared with 2011.

“Seven nights was the average length of stay for incoming tourists in the year 2015, compared with six nights in 2011 and visitors from the GCC formed 45.5 per cent of all incoming tourists,” according to NCSI’s report.



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