Now it will be even easier to visit Dubai with the new transit visa for the UAE
In what could be a boon for tourism to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates have approved plans to exempt travellers flying through its airports from visa fees if they only plan to stay a short time.
Once it is introduced, the new policy will allow visitors to stay in the UAE for 48 hours for free on a transit visa, with the ability to extend this up to 96 hours for 50 dirhams ($13.60).
It will be possible to apply for a transit visa upon arrival at a new express passport check in airports.
A transit visa is one that is only valid for a short period. It is designed to allow people travelling through a country onto another destination to pass through the borders so they can complete their trip.
However, the UAE transit visa appears to aim at increasing the number of travellers with stopovers in Dubai to take some time to enjoy the city itself.
According to recent estimates, 7 out 10 people who fly into the UAE are connecting to another flight. The system currently in operation only allows many of them the opportunity to step outside the airport and experience Dubai for four hours without a visa, or they can purchase a 96-hour transit visa for 300 dirhams ($81.67).
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai said that in 2017 15.79 million holidaymakers visited the city. This was an increase of 6.2 per cent on 2016.
“This new directive will bring in a lot more transit passengers wanting to experience a short stay here in the UAE,” Premjit Bangara, general manager for travel at Sharaf Travel Services, told Gulf News.
“As per official statistics, around 70 per cent of passengers transit through UAE airports in 2017 en route to their destinations and this decision would attract a significant percentage of them to experience a city break in the UAE,” he added.
“Travellers who have onward connections can now stay in the UAE and enjoy a range of attractions that the various emirates have to offer. In fact, this will give a boost to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the other emirates which are promoting its attractions aggressively in the world market.”
Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council countries do not need a visa to enter the UAE, while citizens of 53 other countries around the world are able to obtain a free visa on arrival for 30 or 90 days.