Dubai Tourism

The countries availing of the new service include Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. 

Despite already being noted as one of the top 10 destinations around the world, the UAE is set to garner more popularity among European tourists following the introduction of a new ruling, exempting citizens of 13 EU member states from requiring a pre-entry visa into the country.

The announcement was made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will take effect from March 22 and now means citizens of all 28 countries in the EU will be allowed to enter the UAE without having to previously apply for a visa.

The countries availing of the new service include Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The new system is set to undoubtedly open up future business opportunities between the UAE and EU countries, and will further boost bilateral relations in tourism and cultural exchange too.

The launch of direct flights between the UAE and the 13 EU member states is a real possibility in the future too — a move which could further boost the already-booming aviation industry here.

And with the implementation of the Schengen visa waiver for Emirati citizens also nearing completion, many are in agreement that the decision couldn’t have come at a better time.

The move is in implementation of the decision taken by the UAE Cabinet in this regard and means citizens who hold ordinary passports from the 13 countries, will be exempted from the need to acquire pre-entry visas to the UAE.

A statement from the ministry said all necessary measures have been taken by the Ministry of the Interior to implement the decision at all UAE points of entry, adding that the decision will enhance political relations between the UAE and EU.

Speaking in Berlin on the sidelines of ITB 2014, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Helal Saeed Al Marri said the announcement had been received extremely positively: “This will have a significant impact on the attractiveness of Dubai as a destination for tourists from the 13 countries.”

With European countries featuring prominently in the UAE’s top 20 source markets for visitors, he said the lifting of visa restrictions will provide for easier travel arrangements from across the continent, and promised to keep tourism infrastructure a priority in the UAE.

“As we work towards our target of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020, the DTCM will continue to work with partners in the government and the private sector to ensure that Dubai’s destination offering is continually enhanced,” Al Marri said.

News courtesy: KhaleezTimes

by kelly@khaleejtimes.com