His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the new five-year tourist visa system on Twitter.
The new visa rule targets all nationalities and aims to entrench the UAE’s position as a key global tourist destination.
On his Twitter page, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Today, we have reviewed achievements made over the past year… we planned for 2020 to be a different year as it marks the year of preparation for the upcoming 50 years (2020: towards the next 50). It is the year in which we design the future of the UAE.”.
“We received more than 21 million tourists annually, and we want to establish the UAE as an international tourist destination,” he added.
The move comes in a bid to support the UAE’s tourism economy, and affirm the country’s position as a global tourist destination.
During the meeting, the cabinet reviewed last year’s achievements and approved the new tourist visa. Sheikh Mohammed said the visa would be available to all nationalities.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the move aimed to establish the UAE as a major global tourism destination and was part of wider plans to prepare the country for the next 50 years of development. At present, he said the UAE welcomes about 21 million visitors each year.
The year 2020 will be different because it is the year of preparation for the next 50, the year in which we design the future of the Emirates, he said on Twitter.
The move is expected to provide a boost to the tourism industry and make it easier for residents to bring relatives to the country for visits.
At the moment visitors from some countries can secure a 30-day visa on arrival at the airport plus a 10-day grace period. This includes travellers from Britain, Ireland, Australia, China and Hong Kong, among others.
Others including European citizens from the Schengen Area can secure a 90-day visa. This includes many of the EU members, Russia, South Korea and Argentina and Brazil, among others.
Other nationalities require paid-for visas, costing, for example, $10 for 48-hours or $30 for 96-hours and $90 for 30 days. This includes Pakistan, India and the Philippines and others.