The United Arab Emirates (UAE) cabinet has taken a new step to boost tourism. Newpapers in the Gulf have reported that the UAE will soon begin to grant visa to passengers who are transiting through the country. Some of the top attractions in the Emirates include the Burj Khalifa, with 160 floors in Dubai and the luxury hotel Emirates Palace located at Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates constitutes of seven monarchical states which are Ajman, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi the capital, Sharjah, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain. Figures have shown that more than 70 percent of the total number of passengers who passed through the UAE airports in 2017, were transit passengers.
It was in March, 2018 when the Dubai Airport unveiled the proposal to allow transit passengers to leave the airport and experience the city. The Dubai Media office had Tweeted, “In Dubai, transit time will become tourism as passengers are encouraged to leave the airport to experience the city”. Every month about 4.5 million passengers pass through the Dubai International Airport every month and the figure reaches more than 50 million per year and out of these 46 million do not visit the city.
Earlier most of the passengers were forced to spend time at the airport shopping or having food. With the latest development, more than 20 million visitors are expected to visit Dubai by 2020, which will mark an increase from the current 14.9 million tourists on an annual basis. The new policy will decide on the visa fee along with proposal to increase the number of transit passengers and ways to promote tourism in UAE. The new policy will be led by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship while considering the possible effects it will have on the tourism sector as well as the economy in general. Passengers allowed with a transit visa will help to improve the tourism industry.
Photo Credits: Emirates 24/7