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Middle East

Visa overhaul makes entry to UAE more expensive for many

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Jan Aslak Stannies  Jun 11, 2008

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (eTN) - Entering the UAE will become more costly for many travelers beginning August 1. The government has introduced 16 new categories of visas together with new processing fees.

The new system will provide authorities with more detailed information on the purpose of each visitor for entering the country. Among the new visa categories include study visa, medical visa for those obtaining treatment, “exhibition and conference” visa and visa for guests of the government.

The revamped entry procedures were introduced “to keep up with the fast paced development of the country," said Lieutenant General Mohammad Salem Al Khaili, director-general of Federal Naturalization and Residency Department (NRD).

Tourists who book hotels or holidays through a registered tour operator are required to pay 100 dirham (US$27) for a tourist visa, which can be issued through the hotel or agency. The company must be able to provide a full itinerary for the traveler.

The visa requirements, which also stipulate that an individual must have health insurance valid for the period of his stay, will apply to all nationalities.

Those visiting to attend conferences or exhibitions can obtain a 30-day visa for this purpose at 100 dirham (US$27). Applicants will pay a refundable deposit of 1,000 dirham (US$272) to ensure they leave on time.

A 30-day visa to visit the UAE will cost 500 dirham (US$136) and travelers who want to stay for an extended period must obtain a visa valid for 90 days which costs 1,000 dirham (US$272). Also, a health insurance policy is mandatory for visitors and a deposit of 1,000 dirham (US$272) will be collected by the department before issuing visas.

When the new visa rules were introduced to the public on Sunday, it was said that the new visa fees would apply to all foreigners. However, in a statement on the following day, the government confirmed that not all foreigners will have to pay. “Nationalities that currently are not required to apply for a visa will not have to pay under the new system,” said Mohammed al Khaili. This applies mostly to visitors from Western Europe and North America.

The new fee system will be imposed on visitors coming from Asian countries. UAE residents with visiting family members would need to apply in advance to sponsor their visas. Friends of residents must enter the country as tourists and are not allowed to stay with friends.

A multiple-entry visa will cost 2,000 dirham (US$544) and is valid for six months, but a person can stay in the country only for 14 days at a stretch.

Student visas will cost 1,000 dirham (US$272). To obtain it, a person must be registered in one of the universities in the UAE and must obtain health insurance. Additionally a refundable deposit of 1,000 dirham (US$272) must be paid.

Lastly, visitors the UAE for medical treatment must chose the visa for “Medical Treatment,” which costs 1,000 dirham (US$272) for a 90-day duration. This visa option can be renewed for 500 dirham (USS136).

Visa overhaul makes entry to UAE  more expensive for many

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