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24-hour immigration office at Dubai Terminal-3 soon

Ahmed Shaaban / 30 June 2011

DUBAI - The Dubai Residency Department is set to open an office in Terminal-3 of Dubai International Airport very soon to offer immigration services round-the-clock.

This was said by Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Department on Tuesday in a meeting with a group of Indian businessmen.

“The number of Dubai visitors was lower before. But with the incessantly increasing, varied and improved services being rendered, Dubai airports are now receiving around 35,000 passengers every day,” he said, adding that this proved that Dubai is on the right track. “We are recovering from the recession as confirmed before; our promises are coming true,” he added.

Urging cooperation and effective partnership, Al Marri said: “We are here to listen to your concerns, to exchange ideas and experiences for the benefits of us all.” Further, Al Marri said the Dubai Immigration has opened 21 external offices across the emirate to ease and expedite procedures and increased e-gates at the airports to 100. “Now we are planning to install more gates as they are faster and easier. We have changed our timings from 7.30am-2.30pm to 7.30am-8pm to cope with the growing applications.”

Recent figures show that Dubai Airports is expected, in view of the ongoing growth, to rank first worldwide with a capacity of processing the entry and exit procedures of annual 98 million passengers by the end of 2020. “Our emergency teams are ready to handle urgent cases and applications round-the-clock, particularly during weekends and holidays,” he said. Meanwhile, the around 20 businessmen present at the meeting expressed their gratitude for the kind gesture and voiced some concerns. “It will be a good idea to form a permanent committee to handle uprising issues,” said three businessmen who have stayed in Dubai for 30 to 70 years.

Other businessman recommended the extension of visa validity to five or ten years instead of being reduced from three to two. “We would like the three-year rule to be restored or even extend to five or ten years; it is really good for business,” they said.

Stressing that Dubai has become a major business hub in the Middle East, some businessmen called for the reduction of charges and deposits which are increasing all the time. “We would also appreciate if investors and businessmen are listed under special categories as they are being dealt with as works now,” some businessmen said.

Proposing a multiple entry visa, particularly for investors, a businessman said he needed to apply for entry visa twice if he travels from Mumbai to Dubai and then to Qatar, and back to Dubai.“The multiple entry visa will be better for our work as is the case with Singapore,” he said, calling for more counters for iris scan, and replacement of e-gate with ID scan.

In response, Major-General Al Marri said his department would discuss all their worries and concerns in details and try hard to sort out whatever possible. “This is exactly what we need; we want you to tell us what is missing and what needs to be improved.”

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

 
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