UAE Excludes Nigeria, Others From New 5-Year Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced a new five-year multiple-entry tourist visa scheme accessible to all nationalities except Nigeria and 19 other African countries.

This exclusion follows the UAE’s 2022 announcement, which ceased visa issuances to Nigerian citizens, among others, without providing detailed explanations for the decision.

Prior to this restriction, Nigerian nationals enjoyed relatively straightforward processes for obtaining 30-day tourist visas to the UAE.

However, visa issuance was abruptly halted, affecting travel plans and bilateral relations between both countries.

This situation was further complicated in 2022 when Dubai’s Emirates Airline suspended its operations in Nigeria, citing issues related to trapped revenues.

The innovative visa scheme, initially announced in 2021 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister, Vice-President, and Ruler of Dubai, is designed to reinforce the UAE’s position as a global economic hub by enhancing tourism and business opportunities.

The visa allows holders multiple entries, providing the flexibility to enter and leave the UAE as they wish over five years, with a requirement to stay for at least 90 days per visit and a maximum cumulative stay of 180 days within a year.

“The five-year tourist visa response has been good, but right now it has been rolled out softly. We are working with authorities closely to ensure that we roll out on a much bigger scale very soon – because the multi-entry visa will again help us a lot (in terms of attracting tourists), especially with the nearby region,” Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, told Khaleej Times.

“For example, India already [accounts for] over a million visitors to the city in the first 10 months. So if they have a multi-entry visa, for them Dubai is en route to Europe and the US. So, it makes it much easier for them to stop over, and to come for events and concerts becomes very easy. It is something [with which] we are working very closely with the authorities, and hopefully, we will be rolling that out on a much bigger scale,” he added.

Applying for a visa can be done online, either on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website, the Federal Authorities for Citizenship, Customs, Identity, and Ports Security (ICP) portal, or the GDRFA-Dubai Smart Application, by attaching the required documents and paying the fees.

The documents needed include a six-month bank statement for proving that the person has a minimum balance of $4,000, or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, proof of UAE health insurance, a coloured passport-sized photo with a white background, and Xerox of the front and last page of the passport.

Additional documents include a copy of the flight ticket, hotel booking or lease agreement and proof of residence such as an invitation letter from family or friends living in UAE.

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