UAE: Travel agencies now offering visa renewal options with holiday packages after extension rules revised

They have made packages which include countries that offer visas-on-arrival and e-visas to several nationalities


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 7:18 AM

Last updated: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 6:05 PM

The UAE recently introduced a change in its visit visa renewal policy because of which visitors must now exit the country in order to apply for a renewal or extension. As the holiday season kicks in, agencies have started offering packages for tourists to travel and renew their visa at the same time.

Travel agencies are offering packages with countries that offer visas-on-arrival and e-visas to several nationalities. “We have selected these countries for their affordability and easy access without consuming much of the time in travelling,” said Libin Varghese, director of sales, Rooh Travel and Tourism.

The countries are:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Maldives
  • Bhutan
  • Nepal
  • Thailand
  • Georgia

“The package price for Georgia and Azerbaijan start at Dh2,023, excluding visa renewal. If one wants to renew their visas, an extra charge of Dh600 is applicable,” said Varghese.

Countries like Armenia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, and Thailand are priced at Dh1,800 to Dh2,000 without renewal of the UAE visa. “With UAE visa renewal, the price can increase to Dh3,000,” said Varghese.

The packages aren’t offered to every nationality, he said, interested people must check with with the travel agent.

The package includes air tickets, accommodation, tours and sightseeing, activities, an inbound country visa, and more, with the departures scheduled on December 30.

Experts say that island nations like Seychelles, Maldives, and Mauritius are in great demand for New Year, but the renewal of visas may cost extra. “The airfare is quite high to Seychelles and other island nations. Also, the accommodation price range is on the higher side,” said Varghese.

Shubeesh U, sales manager, Tours on Board Pvt Ltd said: "Many residents have brought parents, siblings, and other family members on two-month visit visas in order to experience and enjoy the winter in Dubai. For those wishing to extend their stay, we have introduced packages starting from Dh3,000 that allow them to travel as well as extend their visas.

"We are also seeing a trend of people travelling to Dubai from UK and Canada to avoid the harsh winters in their countries. Since the option for extending visas within the country has been withdrawn, these tourists prefer flying to destinations like Maldives and Seychelles, which allow them to extend their visas before taking return flights to the UAE," added Shubeesh.

The new rules came into effect on Tuesday, December 13, when the option for visit visa holders in the UAE to extend their visas from within the country was discontinued. As of now, visitors must exit the country once their visa validity expires.

Mir Wasim Raja, manager of MICE & Holidays at Galadari International Travel Services, said bookings for New Year holidays are full, and people looking for travel and visa changes can be attended to by them.

"We can make a customised package if people would like to travel during the upcoming holidays, starting at Dh2,899," said Raja.

"For visa renewal, there are many destination options. However, it will cost an extra Dh600 for the package," he added.


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