Kuwait, Saudi Arabia agree on ID travel

March 14, 2010

Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah

Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian citizens will be able to travel between the two countries using their identity cards instead of passports, the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council has said.

“The two countries have completed all the measures to enable their citizens to move between the two countries using smart ID cards,” Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti daily Arrouiah on Sunday. The Gulf Arab states had established a customs union in 2003, but had decided in 2005 to delay its full implementation for two years to the end of 2007.

“With this agreement, all GCC countries have realized their plan to have their citizens use only IDs to travel around the Council,” he said.

Under an agreement reached by the six GCC countries, their citizens are allowed to travel freely in the council and are entitled to receive the same benefits as nationals of the country where they apply for a job.

The Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, has stepped up measures towards greater unity by setting up a common market and launching a monetary union and eventually a single currency.

A decision by Saudi Arabia in August to suspend the travel agreement with the UAE that allowed Emiratis to use their ID cards was not reciprocated by the UAE.

Despite the restriction, UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a directive allowing Saudi nationals to continue to enter the UAE using only their ID cards.

Lt General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister and interior minister, said that Shaikh Khalifa’s decision “stemmed from his keenness to enhance the forward-looking progress of the GCC.”




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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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