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Fri 9 Nov 2012 09:42 AM

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UAE changes visa rules to boost business, tourism

Authorities introduce multiple entry visa for property investors, cruise passengers

UAE changes visa rules to boost business, tourism
(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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Andy 7 years ago

I got news for you guys over in the UAE (People in charge of issuing visas). Starting this month (November 2012) all Taiwan passport holders get free visas to the US and can stay up to 6 months without even needing to apply or pay for a visa. This, no doubt will boost tourism from Asia (Taiwan in this case) to the US. They don't need to apply nor pay. For the UAE they would need to apply and pay (pay dearly one needs to note as well).

Wildwine 7 years ago

Multiple entry visa is a relatively simple formality (in majority of cases) in most other countries: e.g. US, UK, EU etc. without investing anything. In the US most applicants get 5 year multiple entry visa at first application.
I do not have any problem in UAE keeping it's boundaries tight; it is a right of a sovereign nation.
But offering 6 month multiple visa for a property investor is a kind of an insult; the poor guy trusts his money in this country, but hey we don't want you here for more than 06 months at a stretch.
BTW I do not own any property in the UAE.

Mike 7 years ago

I am a property owner and I for one is pleased that the government has introduced a multiple entry visa.
Where can I find more information regarding length of stay and visa cost.

Salam 7 years ago

Some expats' ideas are nothing short of insane and ridiculous. So you buy a property in the UAE and you expect you can just walk in and out of the country as though it is a public garden? Security is the paramount concern of all countries including the UAE and the whole Arabian Gulf. Every country is entitled to its own set of rules & regulations; even the US, UK, EU are not liberal anymore in their migration laws and visas and they insist on their resident guests and migrants to learn the history and language of the land before being granted any status worth mentioning.

Bahman 7 years ago

Thanks Business.com, I am property investor in Dubai and have to fly each 2-3 months to here in Dubai and its very difficult to apply each time for tourist visa , if you obtain more information for such cases like my situation and publish in Business.com will be high appreciate by me.

HereWeComeAgain 7 years ago

on the other hand I find ridiculous and insane the idea that people should invest in a place where I totally lack legal rights, and please do not come with the strawman of citizenship, we are talking basic legal rights here.
That is why I do not invest here, other people may feel different, good luck to them.

Sal 7 years ago

I don't see any great changes here, a belated action. Wait till they start implementing it. The cost............is anybody's guess.

Andy 7 years ago

@Wildwine, it is not just the property that they don't trust you with but the bank accounts as well. After 6 months of inactivity your account becomes dormant and you are unable to use it. What good is a savings account in the UAE if you can't leave money in a saving account and access it after 7-9 months if you need to access if while you are out of the country. What is a Savings account if you can't leave money in it?

Getting a multiple entry visa after spending an arm and a leg on a villa or apartment in Dubai only to need to pay for it as well is beyond an insult to those holding up real estate prices in the UAE. If all the expats sold and left their property prices would be worth nothing.

Paolo C 7 years ago

It's just another deceiving move. Many investors now understood that you cannot simply trust what they are telling you. "No problem, my friend! "

leo50 7 years ago

as usual, too little too late. Didn't Royal Caribbean very recently announce they would no longer be basing themselves in Dubai?