Visa-on-arrival visitors rocket in Dubai

Dubai saw a 50% rise in visitors from the 33 countries with visa-on-arrival status in 2003.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  January 18, 2004

Dubai saw a 50% rise in visitors from the 33 countries with visa-on-arrival status in 2003. More than 1 million visas were issued for travelers from these countries by the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) at Dubai International Airport last year. The 33 countries that have visa-on-arrival status in the UAE include the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Italy, among others. “This new record represents a tremendous boost to tourism and business in the UAE. A 50% increase in traffic from these countries in just one year translates into a vote of confidence in the UAE’s position as the commercial and tourism hub of the region,” says Colonel Saeed bin Belailah, director, DNRD. “As these countries largely represent the highly developed and industrialised world, their increased numbers in the Middle East send the message that the UAE is becoming a highly popular destination for business and pleasure.” “This tremendous increase in visitors from these 33 countries also means added pressure on our staff issuing visas at the Dubai International Airport,” adds Colonel bin Belailah. “[However,] we have been able to face the challenge due to the dedication of our staff, backed by state-of-the-art IT systems that increase speed and efficiency. We have achieved full IT integration between our airport offices and the head office and this has enabled us to meet the high demand and expectations.” “The increase in visitors from the visa-on-arrival category countries has been triggered by the pioneering business and tourism initiatives in the UAE, including projects like the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), The Palm, Dubai Marina, Dubai Internet City and numerous others that have enhanced the country’s position on the global map,” continues Colonel bin Belailah. “We expect this number to rise further in 2004 and are gearing ourselves to cope with that scenario.”

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