Nigerians traveling to Dubai and other cities in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) can now obtain visas exceeding the maximum 90 days previously in existence as the country’s authorities unveiled its first multi-entry five-year tourist visa.
The country’s Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, made the announcement on Monday after his first cabinet meeting of the year.
He said the visa would allow tourists multiple entries into the country over five years or more.
At present, tourists can visit UAE on a multiple entry visa for up to 90 days from the date of entry.
However, the long-term multi-entry visa is the latest major change to the visa system.
The new visa system also includes five-year visas for the brightest graduates and 10-year visas for business owners with significant assets in the country.
Sheikh Mohammed said the move was aimed at establishing the UAE as a “major global tourism destination” and was part of wider plans to prepare the country for the next 50 years of development.
He said the emirate currently welcomes about 21 million visitors each year.
“The year 2020 will be different because it is the year of preparation for the next 50, the year in which we design the future of the Emirates,” he said.
He added that the visa would be available to all nationalities.
The move is expected to provide a boost to the tourism industry and make it easier for residents to bring relatives into the country for visits.
Already, UAE has made it possible for visitors from some selected countries to secure a 30-day visa on arrival at the airport with the advantage of a 10-day grace period.
The visa on arrival programme is for travelers from Britain, Ireland, Australia, China and Hong Kong amongst others.
European citizens from the Schengen area can secure a 90-day visa on arrival.
Other nationalities require paid-for visas, costing $10 for 48 hours, $30 for 96 hours and $90 for 30 days to enter the country.
However, details about the application fee of the new visa system have not been released.