Tourists travelling to Bahrain from the GCC will be eligible for a one-month multiple-entry visa to Bahrain under new rules due to take effect from next Wednesday.
The new rules also allow GCC residents and citizens of 102 countries to obtain three-month multiple-entry visas.
Visitors with the new visa will only be able to stay for two weeks at a time. However, they were previously only entitled to a single entry visa for a two-week stay.
The fees are the same – BD25 ($66).
The decision comes ahead of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place from April 17-19, and is intended to help attract more tourists and investors, according to Gulf Daily News.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Nationality, Passport and Residence Affairs’ assistant under-secretary, reportedly told a press conference: “Our goal is to support the businesses and tourism sector in Bahrain and the new visa policy will attract more visitors once it goes into effect from April, and mean GCC residents and businessmen can visit Bahrain more frequently.”
Expatriates visiting any GCC country and businessmen can apply for a Bahrain visa online, which will be processed in three to five working days, the newspaper added. Visa applicants can also apply for extensions, while those who overstay their visas will be given assistance before any punitive action is taken.
“We need to be competitive in the region,” Sheikh Ahmed was quoted as saying.