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Monday, 18 June, 2018, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

UAE to grant free transit visa to flyers for first 48 hours

According to The Times of India report, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has decided to grant free transit visas for the first 48 hours to transit passengers and this visa can be extended for up to 96 hours by paying AED 50 (about INR 930). While the decision has been taken, the date on which it will be implemented is still awaited, say Indian travel industry majors.

UAE is already the single biggest international destination for Indian travellers. Almost a quarter of all international travel to and from India happens on mega UAE carriers like Emirates, flydubai and Etihad. Jet Airways, in which Etihad has a 24% stake, also serves as a feeder to Etihad’s long-haul flights to Abu Dhabi. Close to 75% of people flying to the Gulf are only transiting between India and the rest of the world. So the decision to grant free 48-hour transit visas is expected to further increase the number of visitors to UAE. Dubai Duty Free’s famous tagline ‘Fly Buy Dubai’ could soon have the word visit added to it. 

Gulf nations are going all out to woo Indian travellers and are relaxing visa norms. UAE grants visa on arrival to Indian nationals with a valid US visa. Oman will also do the same to Indians who reside in or hold an entry visa to US, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan and Schengen states. Last August, Qatar had allowed Indians and nationals of 46 other countries to stay for up to 60 days there without a prior visa.  
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