By Adedapo Adesanya
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, January 7, introduced a multiple-entry visa scheme valid for five years for all nationalities, with the aim of turning the Gulf state into a tourism hub.
The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, after his first cabinet meeting for the new year.
Mr Maktoum said the new policy was part of plans to turn one of the most visited countries into a tourism hub and to establish it as a major global tourist destination.
“#UAE Cabinet chaired by @HHShkMohd, approves new amendment for tourist visas in #UAE,” the government of Dubai Media Office tweeted.
“The new tourist visa will be valid for 5 years and can be used for multiple entries and is open for all nationalities,” it added.
Prior to this new development, tourists from Africa, some South American countries, Arab countries outside the Gulf, and European countries from outside the European Union could only get a 30-day or 90-day visa duration.
According to the prime minister, the UAE receives 21 million visitors annually, noting that the Emirates was ready to establish itself.
“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,” Mr Maktoum said on Twitter.
“I chaired the first meeting of the Council of Ministers in the new year … We reviewed the achievements of a year ago … Our plan for a new year has come … The year 2020 will be a different year because it is the year of preparation for its fifty .. the year in which we design the future Emirates,” he tweeted further.
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