UAE changes visa rules to boost business, tourism

Authorities introduce multiple entry visa for property investors, cruise passengers

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

UAE authorities have introduced a multiple entry visa for businessmen, property investors and cruise passengers, a plan that has been under discussion for almost three years.

DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem welcomed the move saying it will enhance the growth of cruise tourism at Mina Rashid in Dubai.

He also said it would support the country's long-term strategy to stimulate growth and development in the traditionally strong tourism sector.

The UAE government issued ministerial decree No 418 of 2012 on Wednesday allowing multiple entry visit visas to the UAE for the first time.

Those eligible for the multiple entry visas include businessmen, property investors and tourists on board cruise ships who will be eligible for multiple entry, news agency WAM reported.

Bin Sulayem said: "This is a very positive move that will make a tangible difference to the cruise industry in Dubai and in the UAE and therefore to economic growth."

Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice president and managing director, DP World, UAE Region added: "Multiple-entry visit visas for cruise tourists will smooth the way for the cruise lines and their passengers and allow Dubai and the UAE to compete more effectively with other cruise destinations.

"We look forward to welcoming more cruise ships at Mina Rashid in Dubai, as we expand capacity there, reinforcing Mina Rashid's position as the premier regional cruise terminal."

DP World is expanding Mina Rashid's capacity to cater for as many as five cruise ships at one time.

The previous visa process imposes financial burden as well as a lot of documentation procedures for the tourists of 32 nationalities who do not get visas on arrival.

Dubai serves as a home port for five of the world's leading cruise lines such as Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, TUI Cruises and FTI Cruises.

In addition, more than 20 world-class cruise lines have Dubai as a port of call in their international itinerary.

Dubai Cruise Terminals, managed and operated by DTCM for the Government of Dubai, catered to 396,500 cruise tourist who arrived from 108 ship calls in 2011.

This year, Dubai is expected to see 420, 000 cruise tourists to the emirate, giving a big push to the tourism growth and the economy.

The projections for 2013 are 125 cruise ships and 450,000 passengers and in 2014 the number of cruise ships and passengers will be 135 and 475,000, respectively.

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Posted by: Raj

Hardly any discussion has taken place in Indian newspapers and in other public forums regarding the rules and regulations of Dubai if any Indian wants to invest in that place. As a result, it is not clear to many of us whether we should invest in Dubai or not ? Most important is the comparison between India and UAE as far as investment in real estate is concerned.

Posted by: Aly

What, they want us to invest over a million dhs and they then want you to pay them Dhs.18,000 as a visa fee for 2 years.. why?.

If UAE wants you to invest over a million then one would expect a residence permit as long as you own the property. No one expects citizenship, but must be allowed access to the property to live or visit when required. You are paying for everything else anyway. ie: Service fees, Utilities etc..

Hope common sense prevails.

Posted by: Abu Handy

According to staff at the Dubai Lands Department (6th Feb), the 2-year property owner's visa has the following conditions (these are the ones I've discovered so far and there will undoubtedly be others).
1. The property must be worth more than AED 1M. If bought for less than 1M and current value is more than 1M, then you must get a valuation from RERA - AED4,010 for a flat or villa.
2. Property must be registered with RERA and mortgage free.
3. The two year visa costs AED18,000. Staff implied that this allowed visas for husband and wife if both jointly own the property. Otherwise perhaps one sponsors the other?
4. Applicants must still take the medical.
5. Once the visa is issued, ID cards, Driving Licences etc can be obtained.
6. No apparent age restrictions.
7. Once visa is issued, then applicants can work - this needs confirmation.
8. There was no mention of the requirement to have AED10,000 income per month. This may apply for the 6-month visa issued by Immigration, but not sure.

Posted by: Khano Jarkata

I would not trust the UAE law regarding property investors, if you spend more than UAE 1M, to get a multiple visit visa, with no guarantee that you will be able to renew it or get a new one on expiry, would be in my opinion, very risky to invest.
Unless UAE guarantees, they as long as you hold property if UAE, you will get multiple entry visas as property owner and this law is for an indefinate period and not changeable, investors might still start to think about investing in UAE.
Most of the foeigners in UAE are either for work or Business (to earn their livehood and make money) except for those who come in for a very short tourist visa through hotels, relatives or countries allowed visa on arrival.

Posted by: Rajendran

As far as my knowledge goes -- India is a land of opportunity , pays more ROI in the field of Real Estate.

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