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To exit or not: Confusion over new UAE visit visa rule

Haseeb Haider/Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 7, 2016 | Last updated on January 7, 2016 at 12.21 pm
To exit or not: Confusion over new UAE visit visa rule

Reports said the government has revoked condition of a one-month gap for renewing visit visas and visit visa holders can change their visa status inside the country after paying Dh570 fees.

The proposed change in visit visa rules has affected several people, including job seekers, Khaleej Times has learnt. According to travel agents the confusion surrounding the new rule has also affected the travel business.

Reports said the government has revoked condition of a one-month gap for renewing visit visas and visit visa holders can change their visa status inside the country after paying Dh570 fees.

Job aspirants welcomed the move as they could avoid exiting the country - going to Kish Island or Oman - for visa change.

However, they were told by the travel agencies that they were yet to get a notification from the official sources regarding the change.

While some postponed their travel plans until new directions are implemented, some continued with their travel plans to Kish Air to change their visa status.

Kish Air's sales manager in Dubai, Joe Manjaly said there is no drop in travel to Kish Island from Dubai so far.

However, the confusion has so far caused about 10-15 per cent drop in travel from Abu Dhabi in the past week.

Bilal Chaudhary, a senior travel consultant at Abu Dhabi's National Travel and Tourism, said: "Some media reports have confused people planning to Kish Island or elsewhere. There was less travel, adding there were no cancellations of bookings to Kish for the next week.

Bilal linked the negative impact to the on-going political standoff between the GCC countries and Iran.

"This issue would certainly cast negative impact on the business on routes between the UAE and Iran," he said.

"And, If there is no clarification on the visa change issue, then the travel business might lose a regular business, as Kish is an important sector," he said.

haseeb@khaleejtimes.com


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