Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

New visa is a boon for residents and travellers alike

The five-year multi-entry visa will bring families closer together and boost the UAE's tourism sector

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chairs the a UAE Cabinet meeting in January. Courtesy Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Twitter
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chairs the a UAE Cabinet meeting in January. Courtesy Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Twitter

After the UAE’s very first Cabinet meeting of 2020, the leaders of the country have revealed the launch of an exciting new initiative that will improve the lives of residents and travellers alike. The nation is introducing its first ever multi-entry tourist visa, which will allow visitors to come to the UAE several times over the course of five years.

In a report published in The National residents have said that the long-term tourist visa will bring them closer to their relatives living abroad, who will be able to visit them more frequently. Before the announcement, tourists were allowed to come to the country with a multiple-entry visit that was valid for up to 90 days, depending on their nationality.

The procedure will also make the UAE an even more attractive tourist destination for travellers from the wider region, turning the whole country into a "major global tourism destination" in the words of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Facilitating travel is pivotal for the UAE, as Dubai is hosting Expo 2020 starting in October this year. With a full programme and activities spanning across six months, the event is expected to attract million of people. Many are expected to come back for repeat visits to the EXPO.

The UAE has made efforts to ensure that all passengers flying into the country can enjoy ease of travel. The country has four dedicated airlines departing from the airports of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Technology has also been put to use in order to make UAE airports enjoyable and accessible for everyone. Dubai International Airport’s 122 smart gates were used by more than 5.7 million travellers in the first half of 2019, and e-gates have been rolled out in airports all over the country, allowing for passengers to pass through immigration in minutes. In Abu Dhabi International Airport, e-gates with wheelchair access are also available for passengers with special needs.

Promoting tourism is essential for the UAE to move away from oil reliance and to diversify its economy. This strategy has so far proven to be a success for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both major tourism hubs in the region. Today, the UAE welcomes around 21 million visitors per year, with nearly three quarters of those visiting Dubai.

The beauty of the UAE is that each emirate can give visitors a different experience and memory-filled visit. While Dubai is a bustling destination, a short drive can lead to a new adventure. The UAE’s safety makes it a perfect destination for solo and female travellers. Dubai is an ideal destination for luxury shopping and has a vibrant nightlife, beach resorts and emerging cultural hotspots. Abu Dhabi is a family-friendly cosmopolitan city and a major cultural hub. It is also home to great conservationist efforts and beautiful nature spots.

The beauty of the UAE is that each emirate can give visitors a different experience and memory-filled visit

And in terms of art and cultural offerings, the capital is rivalled only by Sharjah, which draws art aficionados and travellers who want to learn more about Arabian heritage. The northern emirates of Umm Al Quwain and Ajman are a preferred destination for a quiet holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a fair share of grand resorts and clean beaches, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah also tend to attract visitors looking for a laid-back vacation.

And with the launch of a new five-year multi-entry visa, there is no doubt that many more travellers from all walks of life will get a chance to visit relatives and friends, as well as to discover the many hidden gems that this country has to offer.

Updated: January 7, 2020 07:04 PM

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