The UAE’s Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday that it will introduce a new system to issue visas by August, state news agency WAM reported.
The ministry said in a statement that it has completed all technical and services preparations to ensure a flexible implementation of the new visa and fees system across the naturalisation, residency and ports affairs sector.
No further details about the new system were disclosed.
The ministry added that it will announce the latest fee structure for visas on its website over the next few days.
The UAE is also looking to issue a number of new multiple entry visas including those for visit, work, education, medical care and permits to attend conferences, a senior official said.
“This comes in response to community members needs and supports various activities, in accordance with the Cabinet`s decision,” said Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, acting assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs.
He added that the approved amendments take into account the quality and development of services, in addition to meeting social requirements and activities in a way that supports various aspects of economic, touristic and social activities.
In total, almost 6.5 million entry visas were issued in the first half of 2014, up 12 per cent from the 5.8 million visas that were issued in the corresponding period of 2013, according to figures released by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.
UAE is looking to boost its tourist numbers in the coming years with Dubai alone hoping to attract 20 million visitors by 2020.
Dubai hotels received almost 11 million guests in 2013, up 10.6 per cent compared to 9.9 million in 2012, statistics from Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing reveal. Whereas around 834,771 guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments in Q1 2014, up 32 per cent from the same period last year, according to TCA Abu Dhabi.