The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a five-year multiple-entry visa scheme for all nationalities, in a move that is geared towards promoting tourism in the country.
“Today we approved the change of the tourist visa system in the country so that the duration of the tourist visa is five years, multi-use for all nationalities. We receive more than 21 million tourists annually and our aim is to establish the country as a major global tourist destination,” UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed said in a tweet in Arabic.
اعتمدنا اليوم تغيير نظام التأشيرات السياحية في الدولة .. لتكون مدة تأشيرة السياحة خمسة أعوام متعددة الاستخدام .. لكافة الجنسيات .. نستقبل اكثر من ٢١ مليون سائح سنويا وهدفنا ترسيخ الدولة كوجهة سياحية عالمية رئيسية .. pic.twitter.com/C4s26JjUE5
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 6, 2020
What is UAE’s new visa scheme?
According to the Dubai-based Gulf News, prior to this, tourists could get single or multiple-entry visas for a duration of 30 or 90 days. In the new five-year multiple-entry system, visa holders may be allowed to stay for six months at a stretch. The details of the scheme are yet to be announced. The country’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will be implementing the decision.
PM Sheikh Mohammed has called for 2020 “to be a different year as it marks the year of preparation for the next 50 years (2020: towards the next 50)”.
Travellers from Africa, some South American countries, Arab states outside the Gulf, and European states from outside the European Union and the former Soviet Union previously needed visas, AFP reported.
The UAE currently receives more 2.1 crore tourists annually, and has recently increased its pace of rolling out policies to boost its trade and tourism sectors.
In July 2019, the UAE allowed women employed in the country to sponsor work permits for their husbands, fathers, and adult children, and reduced the fees for obtaining work permits by 50 per cent to 94 per cent for 145 services and transactions. In the same month, the Emirate of Dubai said it would accept the Indian rupee (INR) for transactions at duty-free stores.
This coming October, Dubai is to host Expo 2020, a big-budget global trade fair.
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