Passengers travelling via the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to different parts of the world will now get free 48-hour transit visa as per the new decision taken by the UAE government.
According to news reports, transit passengers will be able to avail free visa for 48 hours; people willing to spend more time in the country can extend the visa by up to 96 hours by paying just 50 Dirhams (approx. INR 930). However, this new visa policy is yet to be brought into practice.
Reportedly, this move has been taken by the UAE government to lure more and more Indian travellers to its shores in order to increase the revenue generated from tourism.
The UAE is already one of the most popular international destinations for the travellers in India. About 25 percent people from India fly to and from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other cities via some UAE-based airlines such as Emirates, Jet-Etihad and flyDubai.
The travel industry in India is considering this decision as a game changer. Flyers will now get a chance to explore cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi without paying entry fee for the initial 48 hours. Given the fact that there are more new touristy places coming up in the country, and that Dubai is gearing up for the 2020 Expo, the recent call to relax visa rules will serve the UAE tourism industry in a better way.
According to the latest developments, more and more Gulf countries are implementing smart strategies to attract Indian tourists. The UAE also gives visa on arrival to Indian passport holders having a valid US visa. Likewise, Oman will also give visa on arrival to Indian travellers who live in or possess an entry visa to the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan and Schengen area countries
In 2017, Qatar has permitted Indian nationals and residents of other 46 nations to stay in the country for a maximum of 60 days without applying for a visa beforehand.