Dubai: The Dubai-based Emirates Airline on Thursday announced a pre-approved visa-on-arrival facility for some Indian passport holders, who have booked their travel with the airline. The 14-day single-entry visa initiative will enable Indian customers to skip long queues while arriving in Dubai.
According to Khaleej Times, the application for this facility will be fulfilled by the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) — VFS Global’ s facility designated by Emirates Airline to process UAE visas. Under this, Indian nationals with a normal passport with a validity of a minimum of six months can obtain a visa-on-arrival in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Indian customers willing to avail this facility need to have a US visa or green card; or EU or UK residency that is valid for at least six months. The initiative was launched under the partnership of Emirates with VFS Global. The airline’s seeks to simplify the arrival process, enabling passengers to smoothly navigate through customs before exploring the city.
Benefits and cost
The initiative will immensely help Indian passport holders who have booked their travel with Emirates. The visa is typically stamped at the immigration counter once travellers disembark from their flights. Under this initiative, Emirates can pre-arrange the visa of an individual, which helps the person to “breeze through” customs upon arrival.
The initiative costs $47 (Rs 3,894), with a service fee of $18.50 (Rs 1,533). However, Emirates clarified that the issuance of visas remains at the “absolute discretion of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs”. Once customers book their tickets, they can retrieve an option for visa-on-arrival through ‘Manage an existing booking’ via the airline’s digital platforms.
They will be redirected to the online UAE visa application site powered by VFS Global Services, which sets out the requirements, terms and conditions to facilitate the visa application process.
Indian travellers in Dubai
According to Dubai Tourism statistics, Dubai welcomed 2 million overnight visitors from India between January to October 2023. Emirates currently serves nine destinations in India with 167 weekly flights. The airline’s network in India includes Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram.
“Dubai remains a first-choice destination for Indian travellers, with an array of attractions and accommodation options that meet every taste, age and budget. It’s also home to a vibrant Indian community that frequently welcomes family and friends from India and around the world,” said Emirates.
Tourism accounts for at least 66 per cent of the oil-rich country and Dubai is the fifth most popular tourist destination in the Middle East. Indians can opt for a tourist visa for 30 to 90 days to visit Dubai for tourism or business purposes.