UAE tourist visa process eased as Botim announces in-app process

With prices starting from Dh450, visitors and residents can apply for 30- and 60-day single- and multi-entry visas

File photo
File photo

Sahim Salim

Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 6:35 AM

Free calling app Botim has partnered with travel website to allow users to submit applications for UAE tourist visas. Prices start from Dh450, Khaleej Times can reveal.

“The Botim app now allows customers to apply for 30- and 60-day single and multi-entry visas. This will allow expatriates living in the UAE to bring their family and friends to the country for a short visit more easily and conveniently as other options are typically more costly and time-consuming,” Abdallah Abu Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of Astra Tech, Botim’s parent company, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

The move is part of efforts to transform Botim into an ‘ultra’ app.

“The service can also be used by tourists in the country who wish to extend their visas. With’s extensive experience in the UAE tourist visa processing, the visa applications process will be smooth, efficient, and hassle-free for customers,” Abu Shaikh said.

On Botim, the standard turnaround time for visa applications is between 24 and 72 hours. An option for ‘express’ applications can be completed within 24 hours. “This service will also permit visitors to get free Internet calling, mobile top-ups, recharge services, and more,” added Abu Shaikh.

How it works

The UAE tourist visa service on the app provided by is an end-to-end service. It begins with the visa application form, where users will select ‘visa service’, provide details, submit their application, and make the payment.

“Once done, users can track their application status on the Botim app and receive a copy of the approved tourist visa. The app also features a transaction history page, where users are able to view their applications submitted to date,” said Abu Shaikh.

New features

Other new features on the app include money transfers, where customers are able to transfer money to friends and family internationally through a partnership with MoneyGram; and a Red Crescent donations tile that enables customers to donate to those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey.

Premium experiences

Abu Shaikh stressed that Botim is “completely free for everyone in any corner of the world”, but users can choose to upgrade their experience “by taking a very economical paid membership called Botim VIP”.

Through this, “users can get access to HD calling, an ad-free experience, better call quality optimisation, a VIP profile badge and beta access to upcoming features”.

“Users can choose to take monthly or yearly plans and even gift Botim VIP to their friends and family members to enjoy the ultimate experience. The VIP programme will soon be getting some … upgrades which will make it even more attractive for Botim users.”

Calling to remain free

The app will still remain free for its “growing user base of 90 million users” even after it is relaunched.

When asked if the relaunch of the app is now complete, the CEO of Astra Tech said these services are just the first steps towards making Botim an ultra app.

“With Astra Tech transforming Botim into an ultra app; this will facilitate the ultra app’s ability to grant access to various products and services, including fintech, international money transfer, peer-to-peer money transfer, bill payments, government services, pharmacy, e-commerce and more at an unprecedented speed.

“Our ultra app will revolutionise the way in which users interact, engage, and transact with each other by making the experience significantly more seamless, faster, and intuitive. Unlike super apps, Botim’s ultra app will not rely on rented growth or jumping from one business line to another, nor will it rely on partnering businesses or apps to run services on its behalf,” Abu Shaikh added.


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