The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a five-year multiple-entry visa scheme for all nationalities, in a move that is geared towards promoting tourism in the country.
“Today we approved the change of the tourist visa system in the country so that the duration of the tourist visa is five years, multi-use for all nationalities. We receive more than 21 million tourists annually and our aim is to establish the country as a major global tourist destination,” UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed said in a tweet in Arabic.
According to the Dubai-based Gulf News, prior to this, tourists could get single or multiple-entry visas for a duration of 30 or 90 days. In the new five-year multiple-entry system, visa holders may be allowed to stay for six months at a stretch. The details of the scheme are yet to be announced. The country’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will be implementing the decision.
PM Sheikh Mohammed has called for 2020 “to be a different year as it marks the year of preparation for the next 50 years (2020: towards the next 50)”.
Travellers from Africa, some South American countries, Arab states outside the Gulf, and European states from outside the European Union and the former Soviet Union previously needed visas, AFP reported.
The UAE currently receives more 2.1 crore tourists annually, and has recently increased its pace of rolling out policies to boost its trade and tourism sectors.
In July 2019, the UAE allowed women employed in the country to sponsor work permits for their husbands, fathers, and adult children, and reduced the fees for obtaining work permits by 50 per cent to 94 per cent for 145 services and transactions. In the same month, the Emirate of Dubai said it would accept the Indian rupee (INR) for transactions at duty-free stores.
Dubai is to host Expo 2020, a big-budget global trade fair which is postponed by one year due to the global coronavirus crisis.
The UAE’s new five-year tourist visa policy will add stability to the real estate market in the UAE, said Saleh Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Lootah Real Estate Development, one of the region’s most prominent real estate developers.
According to a reputed property portal, the real estate industry ended 2019 strong, as property sales transactions in Dubai hit an 11-year high—recording a growth of 20 percent compared to the previous year as new policies boosted the sector.
The industry is expected to further pick up this year, especially with the upcoming Expo 2020. New policies and initiatives will be upheld in line with enhancing the event, which will lead to the sector’s continuous improvement. Search for Dubai Property Now!
Lootah said that the outcome of the new visa policy of the UAE will result in the stabilisation as well as a long-term effect in the real estate sector.
He added that the real estate industry will take this new tourist visa policy as an opportunity to develop new projects for the frequent visitors -a new segment to the market.
"The substantial growth of tourism, starting with the 25 million visitors expected at the Expo 2020, will create a new market segment of frequent visitors,” he said.
The CEO also said that visitors who will capitalise on the 5-year multiple entry visa can start planning to look for convenient investment options for properties that will match their experience, usage and leisure.
In addition to that, it will be an investment that will appreciate in value over time that they can capitalise when they want to sell the property.