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Residents regret, but say fee will improve Dubai airport

Dhanusha Gokulan and Ahmed Shaaban/Dubai
Filed on March 31, 2016 | Last updated on March 31, 2016 at 07.24 am
Residents regret, but say fee will improve Dubai airport

(Reuters)

Now, every passenger leaving the UAE from any of Dubai's airports, including transit passengers, will be charged Dh35 as a service fee.

Airports in Dubai are on par with several international airports with its unique facilities for passengers. However, to meet the growing number of passengers - which is set to reach 100 million by 2023 - the authorities have decided to levy a service fees, which will be utilised for improvement of the airports.

 

Now, every passenger leaving the UAE from any of Dubai's airports, including transit passengers, will be charged Dh35 as a service fee.

Airlines operating in Dubai airports are tasked with collecting the fee while issuing tickets, whether in the UAE or outside the country, effective March 1 for flights departing Dubai's airports after June 30.

The new tax will support expansion projects such as the state-of-the-art Concourse D at Dubai International Airport, the expansion of Terminal 2 and the renovation of Terminal 1. However, the decision has left several UAE residents flabbergasted and many think the charge is too high.

Khaleej Times caught up with a few residents who asked for additional perks and services while levying this tax.

Egyptian resident Sherif Al Wakeel said he would have to pay extra Dh140 against his six-member family with the Dh35 surcharge.

"I am already paying same additional charges back home, and that will add more financial burdens on me." Being a regular traveller, he is thinking of flying from another airport to save money.

"I travel six times or more a year, which means I will have to pay more money whenever I fly home."

Residents regret, but say fee will improve Dubai airport (KT5936330.JPG)

Indian national and homemaker Divya Narwani said: "Additional charges are already being levied at the airport. For example, if you require wheelchair services, you have to pay Dh100; only WiFi is free."

Meanwhile, Jordanian Adnan Ukasha said he has full confidence in the leadership, and believed the move will bring more revenues to the budget, and that would help finance the ongoing massive infrastructure projects. However, he added: "The decision may also put pressure on passengers to think of other options, such as the Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah international airports."

Pakistani Umer Riyaz said: "I am at a loss for words. After London's Heathrow, Dubai Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. Why is so much being levied? I can understand if it is priced at Dh10. But this is too much."

Most residents, especially frequent flyers stated that this adds an additional burden on them.

Sulaiman Al Mahi, Sudanese, said the decision must have been well-studied and was most likely meant to provide better services to the Dubai airports passengers themselves.

"Developments in Dubai airports have no end, and we see new things every day. But, such incessant developments need more money, and this will likely be one of these sources."

He added: "Despite the sharp drop in oil prices, air tickets are still expensive, and will even become more costly with this additional charge."

reporters@khaleejtimes.com 





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