The plan for a multiple entry UAE visa for cruise-ship passengers is expected to be in place by September, according to an official at the Dubai Tourism Department.
Currently, the visa process involves fees as well as paper work for tourists who don’t get visas upon arrival to the UAE.
The multiple entry visas will help in removing such obstacles and will create a wider tourist market from places such as Russia, China, India, South Africa and Brazil, said Hamad bin Mejren of the Dubai’s Tourism Department. Dubai is the “cruise hub of the region” and serves as a home base for five of the world’s leading cruise lines like Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
By the end of this year, Dubai is expected to receive 420,000 cruise-ship tourists. Next year, Dubai expects to see 450,000 passengers coming to the emirate on cruise ships.
Dubai has the most modern and the largest cruise facility in GCC, spanning over 12,000 square metres with a dedicated pier length of 2,000 metres that has the capacity to accommodate five to six cruise ships simultaneously. The emirate bagged four awards at an industry event in Miami recently in recognition of the stellar performance of its cruise tourism sector and for the high standards of operations of the Dubai Cruise Terminal. The categories in which Dubai was selected are: Most efficient terminal operations, Most efficient port services, Best turnaround port operations and Most improved port facilities.
The Dubai Cruise Terminal, which completed 10 years of successful operations last year, has been witnessing significant increase in the number of cruise ships and cruise passengers each passing year.