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Visa Changes Being Discussed in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates : 22 April 2010

At present the United Arab Emirates automatically grants Visa’s on arrival to the citizens of thirty four pre-approved countries which include The United Kingdom, all the European Union countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan however it has now been stipulated that this policy is currently under review and may soon be changed somewhat.

It has been announced that this review is largely taking place to benefit the UAE and other regions. The Federal National Council said yesterday that they want to rethink the current procedures and may move towards amendments to existing policies.

The Federal National Council also said that the region had benefited wholly from this policy in the last nine years most notably in the areas of real estate and tourism and that the 90 days Visitors Visa had given many people the opportunity to visit and savor the United Arab Emirates. This reflection on the current policy has been largely brought about by recent events that UAE officials want to avoid a repeat of in the future.

No official announcement has been made yet as to what the exact changes to visa policy are likely to be and it may be some time before the new rules are announced.

Fellow GCC member, Qatar recently announced similar rules which had planned to force citizens of 33 largely Western countries to apply for entry visa before travelling. This seems to be in response to the recent assassination of a top Hamas militant in Dubai by a group of suspected Mossad death squad members, most of whom were using false passports from western countries.

Following uproar from both the countries in question and Qatari hoteliers and tour operators, concerned about the impact on the tourism industry, the Foreign Ministry has agreed to keep the current “visa-on-arrival” scheme for nationals of the 33 countries when they land at Doha international Airport

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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