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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

UAE tourist visas waived for children travelling in summer

Exemption applies for those travelling to the country between July 15 and September 15

Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund aims to encourage entrepreneurship. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund aims to encourage entrepreneurship. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Tourists travelling to the UAE during the summer will no longer need tourist visas for their dependents under the age of 18.

The UAE Cabinet announced the changes to the visa laws on Sunday in a bid to encourage tourism during what is typically the country's slower season.

Children will be exempt from tourism visas if travelling to the country between July 15 and September 15 every year, reported state news agency Wam.

The move follows a host of visa reforms announced by the Cabinet last month, among them plans to increase tourism.

Some 32.8m travellers passed through the country's airports during the first four months of this year.

In June, travellers transiting through any of the country's airports were exempted from all entry fees for the first 48 hours. Transit visas can be extended up to 96 hours at a cost of Dh50. The Cabinet said express counters were set up in passport control halls at all airports to facilitate the process.

This month, tourism fees in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were also reduced to help stem a fall in room rates and boost occupancy levels.

Abu Dhabi reduced the 6 per cent tourism fee currently applied to hotel rooms and outlets to 3.5 per cent, halved municipality fees to 2 per cent, and lowered the per room per night hotel fee to Dh10 from Dh15. The emirate didn’t say how long these cuts will remain in place.

The UAE’s hospitality sector is worth Dh150 billion.

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