Dubai Tourist Visas announced for all nationalities

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Dubai, Jul 24 (UNI) Dubai will introduce tourist visas for all nationalities, including Indians, under a new visa regime to be effective from July 29 to attract more tourists, it was announced here.

Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) officials announced on Tuesday the liberal tourist visa rules, which so far had excluded visitors from the subcontinent, amid reports that hotels were facing low occupancy and were forced to cut rates.

DNRD Director Major-General Mohammad Ahmed Al Marri said travel agencies and hotels would be able to apply for tourist visas for clients of all nationalities.

Meanwhile, visitors to Dubai, who are nationals of a selected 33 nationalities, including England, America and Australia, are still provided visas upon entry. However, their visa will be for 30 days where it was previously 60 days.

A raft of changes to visit visas, provided upon sponsorship, will also come into effect from July 29. The short-term visit visa, for a stay of 30 days, or long-term visit visa, for a stay of 90 days, is intended to be used primarily for immediate family members.

Individuals cannot apply for tourist visas which can be sought only by hotels and travel companies who now cannot apply for visit visas.

Hotel room capacity in Dubai had gone up manyfold in the last few years and high air fare and cost of living triggerred by oil price rise kept tourists away resulting in a downturn in the tourism sector in the lean summer months.

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