UAE, Oman and more GCC countries can now apply for a UK ETA

by Pilar Dujan | January 25, 2024
GCC countries can travel to London with the UK ETA

Citizens of the Gulf countries can now travel to the UK without the need to apply for the pre-entry visa. This new travel requirement will be mandatory for those traveling from February 22 onwards. 

Which countries are eligible for the UK ETA?

Starting on February 1, passport holders from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman will be able to apply online for the UK ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization). This new development also applies to citizens of Jordan, who will also be able to obtain their UK ETA before traveling. Qatar has been eligible since November, 2023, and is now joined by its neighbors.

The UK ETA allows holders multiple entries and it has a 2-year validity period, or until the holder’s passport expires, and it has a cost of £10. Those who have an approved ETA will be able to stay in the UK for up to 6 months if they travel for tourism, business, short-term study programs or family visits. It will also be mandatory to obtain the UK ETA if you’re just transiting on the way to another country. 

The UAE’s response

On an Instagram post, the UAE Embassy in London shared the following message in response to the news:

“The 1st of February 2024 marks the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between the UAE and UK. Emiratis wanting to visit the UK will now be exempt from requiring a pre-entry visa. Instead, they will be eligible for the new ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA) scheme.

This new process streamlines travel between the UAE and UK, offering speed, enhanced accessibility and affordability.

This is a significant milestone for both of our nations. It is the result of four years of collaborative effort, and a symbol of our commitment to strengthening the already deep ties between the UAE and the UK”.