The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has finally started issuing tourist and visit visas again to travellers from all countries. Tourists can apply for UAE visas in advance or get a visa on arrival if they are citizens of one of a list of 70 countries and territories.
Issuance of new visit visas had been suspended in March 2020 as one of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country. Now with businesses open and things slowly getting back to normal, GDRFA has started approving visit visa applications, including those from India. This development has been well-received by tourists and expat families eagerly waiting to be reunited with their loved ones.
Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and is home to the world’s busiest airport. The city welcomed 16.7 million visitors in 2019 and regularly hosted many international events and exhibitions prior to the pandemic. With the removal of travel restrictions, the tourism sector is expected to make a comeback soon.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline has reported an increase in flight bookings from more than 30 countries, including US, UK, France, Germany and Malaysia, following the reopening of international travel in the emirate on 7th July. The airline has recorded over 1.6 million searches for Dubai on its official website. In a statement, the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha said, “Emirates is working with Dubai Tourism and our other partners on even more attractive travel offers and packages, and we look forward to announcing these offers soon.”
All inbound travellers entering Dubai, including those in transit, are required to take COVID-19 PCR tests. Those heading to the UK and Europe from Dubai will also be required to carry a negative PCR test certificate.