Dubai’s tourism office is pushing for Indian nationals to be granted visa on arrival entry to the UAE, according to reports.
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) chief executive Issam Kazim told Gulf News that Indian passport holders were a natural choice to receive the privilege as the largest visitor group to the emirate.
Dubai welcomed 617,000 Indians in the first quarter, an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year.
It also saw a 106 per cent increase in Russian visitors after Russian passport holders were granted visa on arrival entry to the UAE in early 2017.
“India for sure. For sure. That would be the easiest one for me to look at,” Kazim told the publication as his favoured option for the next nation to have entry restrictions loosened.
Access to the UAE for Indian passport holders was already made easier last year when the country granted visa on arrival access to passport holders who have UK, European or US visas.
Granting visa on arrival entry to Indian nationals could help Dubai to meet its target of attracting 20 million tourists annually by 2020.
The emirate attracted 15.79 million overnight visitors last year.
Government authorities are also exploring a visa policy for the millions of transit passengers that use the UAE’s airports each year.
A transit visa system would allow connecting passengers to leave airports and visit the country’s tourism attractions between flights