TRAVEL TO THE GULF COUNTRIES

Travel with Air India to the Gulf countries

Air India flies to various countries in the Gulf. It is one of our busiest sectors, with passengers travelling to Kuwait, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, and other regions in the Gulf. 

If you’re flying with us to any of these countries, please have your visa on arrival or OK To Board (OKTB) updated from an Air India office unless the original visa is stamped in the passport. 

If the passenger only has a photocopy or faxed copy of the visa or e-visa, the visa-on-arrival message is mandatory in the booking. The passenger must produce a copy of the e-visa or printout at a reservation office in India or one of the above countries. The following details will be added to the reservation booking reference number upon verification of the visa:   

  • Passport number and validity  
  • Visa number and validity  
  • Type of visa and ‘OK To Board’ message.

Air India will only be held responsible if the information is reflected in the booking reference number and passengers can be allowed to board. Listed below, you'll find country-specific details to assist you. 

Visa on arrival and other travel requirements for Gulf countries

Bahrain

Bahrain issues visas through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) or the Ministry of Interior. OKTB is mandatory either from India or the destination country, and the online check can be done here.

Landing permit for transit passengers at Bahrain airport

Bahrain airport has replaced the 24-hour transit visa with a 72-hour visa, available for a BHD 05/USD 13 fee.

Restrictions on travelling by road from Bahrain airport to the Saudi Eastern province.

The King Fahad Causeway (KFC) immigration authority has declared that any passenger travelling via road from the Bahrain airport to the Saudi eastern province through KFC will be denied entry if they hold a visa for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bearing this sentence "Travel by Air Only". Passengers with a standard visa can travel without any restrictions.

Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia

There is no OKTB requirement since the visa is stamped on the passport. The visa will be checked during check-in and at the immigration counters.

Customs regulations

Travellers flying from or to Saudi Arabia with cash and/or jewellery and/or bearer negotiable instruments (BNI) worth SAR 60,000 (USD 15,986) or more must complete a declaration form and submit it to the customs officer at the airport.

Immigration regulations towards female pilgrims

As per immigration regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

  • Female pilgrims under the age of 45 are prohibited from entering the country without the presence of a male companion.
  • The accompanying male should fulfil the Islamic criteria of Mahram; that is, he should be her father/brother/husband/son. 

Travelling with Zamzam water

Passengers cannot carry liquids (Zamzam packages) inside their check-in baggage from airports in Saudi Arabia. The regulations allow only passengers with Hajj or Umrah visas to transport one bottle of Zamzam water on departing international flights. The bottle is one of the regular bottles (5l/one gal) designated for air transport, produced by the King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Project for Zamzam water.

Kuwait

Four types of visas are issued in Kuwait (available in Arabic only). 

  • Family 
  • Commercial visit
  • Family dependency 
  • Work 

Family and commercial visit visas are paper visas for which the OKTB message from Air India's Kuwait office is mandatory. Also, a return ticket is compulsory. 

Family dependent and work visas are stamped in the passport by the Kuwait embassy and don't require OKTB messages. 

Sultanate of Oman

Visa application

From eligibility to documentation processing, learn about all the steps involved while applying for an Oman visa here. The Royal Oman Police handles all visa applications (tourist/express/resident).

Immigration regulations for resident or employment visa holders

  • Employment visa holders can stay outside Oman for a maximum of 180 days and should return before the period ends.
  • The above condition does not apply to dependant resident visa holders. They can stay outside Oman for more than 180 days. 
  • The maximum validity of a resident visa for Oman (employment/dependent) is two years. 

Visa on arrival

Oman only issues visas on arrival for residents of other Gulf countries. For travellers from non-Gulf countries, this facility is not available.

Even if passengers take an e-visa in advance, it will have a remark stating that the e-visa is valid only for travel from other Gulf countries to Oman.Passengers need to have a valid visa to enter Oman.

Qatar

All visas issued by the ministry can be checked online or in Air India offices after checking validity here and incorporating the OKTB message in the booking.

Visas issued for passengers by the embassies of the State of Qatar and affixed to their passports (sticker) will allow them to enter the country during the visa's validity period, effective 30 January 2023. 

Round-trip ticket requirement for entry

According to the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, tourist/business/family visa passengers must have a return ticket to enter Doha. Entry will be denied if passengers fail to present return tickets when requested by the immigration officers.