The Dubai government is considering to add India on its visa on arrival program, which is a great news for both Indians and the emirate as it will definitely increase tourism and business. When Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, was asked which countries he would like to open the program to, he mentioned India. It is currently the easiest choice.
Transit Indian passengers traveling with Emirates Airlines with a US visa or passport are already eligible for the visa on arrival program. He agrees that visa is a barrier for Dubai extending relations with India and would like for it to be removed. Kazim mentioned that Dubai Tourism looks at the top 10 or 20 visitor source markets and regularly updates government stakeholders so that they have an idea about the potential countries that might stand a chance for the visa on arrival program. Compared to 2016, Russian visitors increased by 120 percent in 2017 after they were made a part of the visa on arrival program. Visitors from China rose by 40 percent after granting the status.
Latest developments in UAE tourism sector
Recent development in the country’s tourism sector is granting 24-hour transit visas to all Indians and Iranians traveling through the country. UAE government started the program considering that people will get to visit the country for a day and when they do, they spend money on buying stuff and at restaurants, which is good for the UAE economy. A representative of the Arabian Travel Market event said that the Dubai government aims at welcoming 20 million international visitors by 2022 and the right measures need to be taken to make the vision a reality.
It is only a matter of few months and Indians will be allowed to travel to Dubai on a visa-on-arrival basis. Be prepared for many of your friends to upload photos on social media in the desert or in front of Burj Khalifa.