No entry fees will be charged from transit passengers for the first 48 hours
The UAE cabinet’s recent decision to exclude transit travellers from all the entry fees for 48 hours has been receiving ample welcome from both tourism and hospitality officials. They believe that UAE and Dubai’s recognition as a global tourist destination will be strengthened through this motion.
Through a payment of Dh50, the visitors can extend the transit visa up to 96 hours. The express counters at the passport control hall across UAE airports will supply the visas for the visitors.
Laurent A. Voivenel, vice-president of operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International said, the hospitality and tourism industry will have a favourable impact with this new visa policies, that aimed to relieve the efforts of visitors with the travel process and assist them to save their time and money. By means of offering long-term gains for businesses and through making the destination more traveller friendly, all sectors of the economy can derive the benefit out of this new visa rules, he added.
The experts say that the extra time allowed to the visitors will be benefited when the major attractions including shopping malls that are close to the airport catch the attention of the transit visitors and they will be lured with buying gifts for their beloved ones. Staying at the nearest hotel will also be a preference for those visitors. In the opinion of Glenn Nobbs, general manager at Copthorne Hotel Dubai, this practice also aids the energetic functioning of the hotel industry in addition to the recent directives released by the government.
The latest visa rule would attract a new segment of travellers especially when it gives them the opportunity to step out of the airport when on transit which was not practical before. With an aim to increase the number of overnight visitors to Dubai, the rule is seeking to first implement within four kilometres of Dubai International. Besides Hotel and tourism, beverage, food, transportation and even retail industries could take advantage of this new resolution.
As per the report of Annual Mastercard Destination Cities Index, Dubai visitors are spending too much money during their visit to the country. Tourists in Dubai have splurged an amount of $28.5 billion on shopping and visiting landmarks during the year 2016 only. In other famous destinations like New York and London, visitor spending was $17.02 billion and $16.09 billion respectively. Compared to these countries, the figure is far larger in Dubai. For 2017, it is expected to grow above 10 per cent. Owing to the visa new rules, there will have a steady increase for the coming years also.
To make the visit suitable and memorable to visitors, the vendors should come up with various adventures, said Walid Al Awa, general manager at Tamani Marina Hotel and Hotel Apartment