The government of the United Arab Emirates has announced the upcoming launch of a multiple-entry UAE tourist visa valid for 5 years, in a move to encourage foreign travelers to become repeat visitors to the country.
The announcement was made following the first UAE cabinet meeting of the year, during which it was also decided to implement a new visa waiver system for citizens of Mexico.
The Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, has said that the new tourist visa will be available to all foreign nationals who wish to visit the Emirates, with the hope of establishing the UAE as a ‘major global tourist destination’ and to boost tourism spending in the country.
Once implemented, the 5-year tourist visa for the UAE will permit foreign citizens multiple entries to the country during its validity and eliminate the need to apply for a visa before every trip to the Emirates.
It has not yet been announced if it will be necessary to pay a fee to obtain the UAE 5-year visa, nor the maximum period of permitted stay with each entry to the United Arab Emirates.
Other Types of Tourist Visa for the UAE
At the moment, there a number of travel documents that can be obtained to visit the UAE depending on the visitor’s nationality.
Some foreign nationals, including citizens of China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, do not require a visa in advance to visit the Emirates for short stays, with the period of stay allowed depending on the traveler’s nationality.
Other foreign citizens are able to obtain a free UAE visa on arrival valid for either 30 or 90 days depending on nationality. Like the new tourist visa, the visa on arrival is a multiple entry travel document that permits multiple entries to the Emirates, although over a much shorter period of validity.
Other citizens still are required to pay a fee to obtain a visa in advance of travel for short stays in the United Arab Emirates, including citizens of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
The new tourist visa system aims to streamline UAE visa requirements for every nationality, as it is intended to be available for citizens from everywhere in the world.
When the 5-Year UAE Tourist Visa Will be Implemented
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has stated that the new tourist visa, as well as the UAE visa waiver for Mexican citizens, will be implemented in the first quarter of 2020, within the next 4 months.
Tourist operators in the United Arab Emirates are already optimistic that the new visa will boost tourism in the country, but are waiting for more information to determine the extent to which it will help the economy.
Marcin Kubarek, senior manager at an immigration services firm operating in the UAE, said he was eagerly awaiting an announcement about the period of allowed stay with each entry to understand how patterns of tourism could be affected.
However, most travel experts are in agreement that the new visa is set to make it easier for UAE residents to bring family members to visit the country, something that was difficult on the previously available tourist visas.
Some have also speculated that the market for investment in tourist apartments in the UAE will open up for the first time now that foreign citizens will be able to spend more time in the country with the new visa.
Visit onlinevisa.com to check visa requirements for the UAE from your country, as well as for every country in the world.