Kuwait ranks lowest in Gulf for tourist visa ease

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Kuwait scores lowest in Gulf for tourist visa ease: UN tourism report

KUWAIT CITY, March 31: Kuwait has been ranked at the bottom among Gulf countries in the Global Tourist Visa Openness Index for 2023, as per the report compiled by the United Nations Tourism Organization. The index assesses the ease of obtaining tourist visas, with Kuwait scoring 12.96 points, the lowest in the region. In contrast, the UAE secured the top spot among Gulf nations with 67.80 points, followed by Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

The index rates countries on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating easier visa acquisition processes. According to the report, there has been progress in visa facilitation in the Middle East, with the percentage of travelers requiring traditional visas decreasing from 71% in 2015 to 57% in 2023. Furthermore, electronic visa availability increased from 10% to 15%, and visa-on-arrival availability rose from 17% to 24% during the same period.

Additionally, the rate of mutual visa exemption within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states surged from 2% in 2018 to 87% in 2023. It’s worth noting that the report’s methodology focuses solely on measures applicable to temporary visitors (tourists) holding ordinary passports.

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