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Sun 10 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

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Treatment tax hits tourists

Medical tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates will face a new treatment tax under plans to charge fees for treatment permits.

Medical tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates will face a new treatment tax under plans to charge fees for treatment permits.

Health tourists visiting the country must pay AED1,000 (US$272) following an update of national visa rules.

An anonymous government source told a local newspaper that the need for a medical visa had been identified "because many violators were using medical treatment as an excuse for overstaying their deadline".

The 90-day visa can be renewed for a further 90 days at an added cost of AED500.

"As the country is growing and developing, there are more reasons for people to visit, therefore it is necessary to develop the current visa system to match the various types of visits," said Major General Mohammed Al Khaili, the director general of the Naturalisation and Residence Department at the Ministry.

The new visa regulations come into effect this month.

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