Dubai, a global tourism hub, suspended issuing visit visas in March as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.
But starting Wednesday, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has started issuing visit visas to all nationalities with a few exceptions, the Amer centre and travel agents confirmed.
Comments from GDRFA are awaited.
A customer service employee at an Amer branch said that they have started receiving applications for residency and visit visas and there are no restrictions on nationalities.
“Applications are now received but it will take some time before approval is issued,” an employee said. “For the tourist visas, applicants must apply at the tourism agencies.”
The employee noted that their offices would close during Eid break and reopen on Monday.
Travel agents confirmed that the visit visa applications they submitted to GDRFA are getting approved for all nationalities, including Indians.
“We submitted a few dozen application on Wednesday and all came through. It is back to normal now,” said Lakshmi Anand, Manager, Travel and Tours, International Travel Services (ITS).
Jubin Mathew from Joanna Travels said they put in applications for Indians and a few other nationalities on Wednesday, and all came through. “We are getting many enquiries from various nationalities as Dubai is opening up.”
“We got a message from Dnata visa services saying we can start applying for visit visas for all nationalities except a few countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh,” said Mathew.
Many UAE residents whose children and family members are stuck outside the country are thrilled that they can bring them back on visit visas.
Suneethi, a Dubai expat ,said she has applied for a tourist visa for her mother and is relieved that she can come visit her.
“We have been waiting for months for normal travel to resume between UAE and India,” she said.
Vinod Kumar, whose wife and daughter are stuck in India, said it was ‘the best news’ he received in months.
“My daughter does not have a UAE visa and hence she was unable to travel while my wife with a residency visa is stuck in India. Now I am glad both of them can come to the UAE soon,” said Kumar.