New multi-entry 5-year visa for tourists
The UAE unveiled its first multi-entry five-year tourist visa during the first Cabinet meeting of the year.
On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the visa would allow tourists multiple entries into the country over five years. It is not clear if there will be a visa application fee. No other details have yet been released.
The present scenario
At present, tourists can visit the UAE with a free multiple-entry visas for up to 90 days, from the date of entry.
Sheikh Mohammed said the visa aims to establish the UAE as a “major global tourism destination”. The visa will be introduced within the next four months. He said it is also part of wider plans to prepare the country for the next 50 years of development.
The Emirates currently welcomes about 21 million visitors each year, he said.
“The year 2020 will be different because it is the year of preparation for the next 50, the year in which we design the future of the Emirates,” he added on Twitter.
Dubai did not hit its target to attract 20 million visitors by 2020. This is despite a strong performance in boosting the number of Chinese, Omani and Filipino visitors recently. The most recent figures showed it was on course for about 16 million, having hit 12 million in the first nine months. This comes after recording a fall in Indian, British and Russian visitors.
During the Cabinet meeting, the country’s ministers reviewed last year’s achievements and approved the new tourist visa. Sheikh Mohammed said the visa would be available to all nationalities.
The move would provide a boost to the tourism industry. It will also make it easier for residents to bring relatives to the country for visits.
Source: The National