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Pakistan to offer visa on arrival to UAE citizens

Pakistan to offer visa on arrival to UAE citizens

Pakistan recently unveiled reforms to its visa policy to improve tourism

UAE citizens to receive visas on arrival in Pakistan as part of new visa regulations launched in the country, a senior official has said.

Pakistan’s minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry told local media in the UAE that the country’s cabinet had approved major reforms to its visa policies to improve tourism.

The list of the countries whose citizens will be granted e-visas and visa on arrivals will be announced after January 31, Gulf News reported.

“The UAE will definitely be included in the list of countries whose citizens will be granted visas on arrival,” Chaudhry told the paper.

“By introducing a new relaxed visa policy, we want to open up our country to tourists from around the world as Pakistan has been a ‘closed’ country for the last 70 years,” said Chaudhry.

“Tourists can now go anywhere in Pakistan, they don’t need no-objection certificates (NOCs) anymore,” he added.

Under the new visa regime announced late last week, Pakistan will introduce visas on-arrival for 50 countries (up from 24), e-visas for 175 countries and business visas to 98 countries (up from 68). Tour operators approved by IATA will also be allowed to bring tourist groups to Pakistan.

UAE passport growth

The UAE has made improving the power of the UAE passport a priority, with the aim of making the document among the top five in the world by 2021.

In December last year, the country’s passport also emerged as the “most powerful in the world” after a series of visa agreements, according to the Passport Index produced by Arton Capital.

The index said that UAE citizens could visit 167 countries without needing a visa, compared to 166 for German and Singaporean passport holders and 165 for a number of European countries, South Korea and the United States.

Arton’s Passport Index ranks passports based on the number of countries the holder can enter without a visa or obtaining it upon arrival.

Read more: UAE passport ranked world’s most powerful

Meanwhile the latest Henley Passport Index, released earlier this year, found that the UAE ranked at 22 globally, up five spots from last year, offering visa-free access to 164 destinations worldwide.

Read: World’s best and worst passports for travel in 2019

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