Bahrain has announced the launch of two new visas for citizens of 114 countries, including the GCC region.
Under the fourth phase of its new visa policy, Bahrain unveiled a new single entry visa and one-year multiple re-entry e-visa.
Visitors using the new single entry visa will be able to stay in the kingdom for up to two weeks. Meanwhile the one-year re-entry visa will allow visitors for a stay period of up to 90 days.
Bahrain also announced changes to some of its existing visitor visas.
Holders of a three month multiple re-entry visa will now be able to stay in the country for one month, compared to two weeks previously.
Officials also revealed that citizens of the US, Canada, UK and Ireland holding a five-year multiple re-entry visa to Bahrain will be able to stay longer in the country. Visa holders will now be able to stay for 90 days, instead of 30 days.
The move is intended to attract more travellers from the four regions.
Last year, Bahrain received 315,943 visitors from the UK and Ireland, 256,439 visitors from the US and 79,127 from Canada.
Bahrain Interior Ministry’s undersecretary of Nationality, Passport and Residence Affairs, Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “This new round of visa announcements represents another step for Bahrain’s commitment to openness. We have taken great strides in recent years in making the country even more accessible, helping both leisure and business tourists.
“These developments further aid Bahrain’s standing as a regional hub.”
The latest move comes after Bahrain recently extended its e-visa eligibility to 114 nationalities from the previous list of 38. Nationals of several African countries and Macau can now apply for visas online at http://www.evisa.gov.bh.
The country also increased its visa on arrival eligibility to nationals of 67 countries, including some in Europe and Central and South America. Citizens and residents of GCC countries can receive on-arrival visas in Bahrain.
The kingdom, which welcomed more than 10 million tourists in 2015, is hoping to see an 8 per cent growth in visitor numbers this year. Manama was also formally named as the Capital of Gulf Tourism 2016 in early January by the GCC tourism ministers.