Dubai International Airport service centre sees 768% rise in UAE passport renewals
Dubai - Emiratis reach the airport early for their travel and get their passport renewed within a few minutes.
A service centre at the Dubai International Airport's terminal three saw a 768 per cent increase in the number of UAE passport renewals in the past five years. The number of passport renewals jumped from 1,715 in 2014 to 13,168 in 2018, a senior official said.
"Emiratis travelling abroad used to ensure that their passports were renewed before applying for a visa at foreign embassies in the UAE. Now, as Emiratis can travel to 176 countries without a pre-entry visa, they don't need to bother about travel documents in advance," Colonel Omar Ali Al Shamsi, assistant general manager for entry permits at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai, said.
Instead of visiting a passport office only for that purpose, Emiratis reach the airport early for their travel and get their passport renewed within a few minutes. This has contributed to the huge increase in number of passport renewal at the centre at the terminal three, he said.
This is the only such facility at an airport in the UAE that works 24/7, Al Shamsi added. It provides passport services for Emiratis and visa-related services for all foreigners, including expatriates.
Emiratis from all seven emirates can renew their passports at the centre by paying an additional fee of Dh140, apart from the regular Dh55 fee for five years' renewal.
According to Arton Capital's Passport Index (Global Passport Power Rank 2019), the UAE passport holds the first position globally, as its holder can travel to 176 countries around the world, with 117 destinations offering visa-free travel and 59 offering e-visa or visa on arrival at the airport.
The UAE passport's global ranking got a significant boost in 2015 thanks to the Schengen visa waiver for Emiratis. The UAE is the first Arab country whose citizens enjoy a visa waiver to the 26 Schengen countries, which make up most of Europe.