Photo Credit: Christoph Schulz
Dubai Tourists Can Now Extend Their Visa
There’s some good news for Dubai tourists.
United Arab Emirates Federal Authority for Identity, Nationality, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) has just introduced a new visa option. The new visa rules allow travelers to apply for a 60-day visa.
This new visa policy is a welcome change for travelers visiting the United Arab Emirates. It offers an alternative to the previous 30-day visa, which was often too short for many trips. In other words, Dubai tourists can stay for longer periods of time which provides additional flexibility.
The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of tourists visiting the area.
Dubai is firmly on its way to becoming a top global tourist destination as evidenced by the 14.36 million international overnight visitors it welcomed in 2022, up 97 percent from the 7.28 million visitors who arrived in 2021.
Visa applications must be issued before entering the country using the UAE PASS app or the ICP website. The applicant will fill out the application form. It will then be delivered immediately to the Authority and the electronic services. The visa pre-extension costs only 200AED (US$54.45), totaling 400AED (US$108.90), allowing passengers to remain for more than 30 days.
How Long Can Dubai Tourists Stay on a Visa?
Tourists can begin applying for 30-day or 90-day visas. With the option of completing a one-time 60-day application prior to visiting the UAE.
How to Apply for a 60-Day Visa to Dubai
Interested tourists must register an account on the ICP website or the UAE PASS app. Then, they will fill out the needed data, attach the appropriate papers and pay the prices listed above. Following that, applicants should have up to 30 days to find out whether or not they have been granted the 60-day visit visa. It should be noted that this may only be done once per individual.
This new rule is guaranteed to highly increase tourism in the UAE. It will make it easier for residents’ friends and family to visit and enjoy the summer sun for longer periods.
Dubai Alcohol Tax
The new visa policy is not the only strategy to attract tourists to Dubai. In December 2022, the Dubai Municipality suspended the emirate’s 30 percent alcohol sales tax for a year. The trial period runs throughout this year.
Restaurants, bars, and hotels in Dubai will pay 30 percent less for alcohol during this year than they did in 2022 and prior years.
According to local media outlets, the Dubai government anticipates that the savings will be passed on to patrons by establishments, making the city more accessible to tourists in 2023 and bringing its price of alcoholic beverages in line with those in other emirates.
Moreover, a wide variety of annual international sporting competitions and events were also held in Dubai, which drew athletes, fans and sporting stars in from all over the world. The Dubai World Cup horse race, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s, and the Dubai Desert Classic golf competition were all on the city’s international sporting calendar in 2022.
Thanks to the massive influx of visitors in 2022, Dubai has outperformed levels of regional and global tourism recovery. It also occurs as the city prepares to rank among the top three business and travel destinations in the world.
In terms of regional tourism to Dubai, Western Europe and the GCC regions accounted for 21 percent of the total. Only 12 percent of all visitors came from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, while 17 percent came from South Asia. Seven percent of arrivals came from the Americas, five percent each from North and South East Asia, Africa and Australasia.
The hotel industry in Dubai performed well in 2022. With 73 percent, Dubai’s average occupancy rates were among the highest in the world. The success of the hotel industry was also aided by the introduction of several new hotels, along with improved infrastructure and transport links. However, the number falls just short of the pre-pandemic occupancy rate of 75 percent in 2019.