• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo


Nigeria excluded as UAE announces 5-year multiple-entry tourist visa

Nigerians in UAE react to false reports of travel ban lift, await visa status clarification

Nigeria’s current status with the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) automatically excludes it from accessing the newly introduced five-year multiple-entry tourist visa.

The UAE has announced its five-year multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationals.

Recalled that the UAE said in a notice in 2022 that it will no longer issue visas to citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations. It did not provide further details.

Obtaining a 30-day tourist visa was relatively easy until the UAE abruptly stopped issuing visas to Nigerian nationals.

Flights between both countries were stopped in 2022 after Dubai’s Emirates Airline suspended its operations in Nigeria citing trapped revenues.

However, the new five-year tourist visa allows the holder to enter and leave the UAE multiple times, as long as they remain in the country for at least 90 days during each visit.

The maximum permitted duration to stay in the country is 180 days in a year.

The visa scheme was first announced in 2021 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister, Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, to strengthen the country’s status as a global economic centre.

The visa has been a crucial step to boost tourism and business in the country, specially allowing people to spend more time with their families in the UAE, without the hassles of applying for a visa over and over again.

“The five-year tourist visa response has been good, but right now it has been rolled out softly. We are working with authorities closely to ensure that we roll out on a much bigger scale very soon – because the multi-entry visa will again help us a lot (in terms of attracting tourists), especially with the nearby region,” Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, told Khaleej Times.

“For example, India already [accounts for] over a million visitors to the city in the first 10 months. So if they have a multi-entry visa, for them Dubai is en route to Europe and the US. So, it makes it much easier for them to stop over, and to come for events and concerts becomes very easy. It is something [with which] we are working very closely with the authorities and hopefully, we will be rolling that out on a much bigger scale,” he added.

Applying for the visa can be done online either on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website, Federal Authorities for Citizenship, Customs, Identity, and Ports Security (ICP) portal or the GDRFA-Dubai Smart Application, by attaching the required documents and paying the fees.

The documents needed include a six-month bank statement for proving that the person has a minimum balance of $4,000, or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, proof of UAE health insurance, a coloured passport-sized photo with a white background, and Xerox of the front and last page of the passport.

Additional documents include a copy of the flight ticket, hotel booking or lease agreement and proof of residence such as an invitation letter from family or friends living in UAE.