UAE introduces 5-year multiple-entry tourist visa

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced its first multi-entry five-year tourist visa on Monday at the first Cabinet meeting of the year.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that the visa will give tourists the opportunity to enter the country multiple times over the course of five years. However, he did not elaborate if there will be a visa application fee. No other details have been released yet.

Currently, tourists traveling to the UAE can enter multiple times but only within 90 days from the date of entry.

The prime minister said that the new visa will be made available in the next four months. The objective of this visa is to establish the country as a “major global tourism destination” and is part of wider plans to prepare the country for the next 50 years of development.

At present, the country receives around 21 million visitors annually, he said.

“The year 2020 will be different because it is the year of preparation for the next 50, the year in which we design the future of the Emirates,” he posted on Twitter.

Dubai had a target of 20 million visitors by 2020 but it wasn’t able to hit that even with a strong performance in boosting the number of Chinese, Omani, and Filipino visitors recently. The most recent figures showed it was on course for about 16 million, has hit 12 million in the first nine months, after recording a fall in Indian, British and Russian visitors.

During the Cabinet meeting, the country’s ministers reviewed last year’s achievements and approved the new tourist visa. Sheikh Mohammed said the visa would be available to all nationalities.

The move is expected to provide a boost to the tourism industry and make it easier for residents to bring relatives to the country for visits.

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