Single UAE cruise visa to be introduced 'soon'
DTCM official confirms plans are in place to simplify immigration
A senior Dubai tourism official has confirmed that a single UAE cruise visa will "soon" be introduced – vastly simplifying the immigration process for passengers needing visas on a Gulf cruise.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas, second Gulf season from Dubai last week, Saleh Mohammed Al Geziry, director of overseas promotions at Dubai's Department Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “With any new industry there’s always challenges. We have sat down several times to discuss this visa issue. I don’t have a date as to when it will happen but it should be happening soon."
While 33 nationalities don’t require a visa to enter the UAE, all others do. Cruise ship operators have been calling for the introduction of a single cruise visa to cut down on the hassle and cost of passengers having to process separate entry visas at each UAE port stop.
Brilliance of the Seas, calls at three UAE ports - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah on its Gulf itinerary. Helen Beck, Royal Caribbean International's regional sales director, EMEA said "the visa issue" was one of the main concerns given by passengers on last year's season.
This year, the crusie line has made changes to its itinerary so that passengers will only need two, rather than three visas.
“We are still hoping to get consolidation from the federal authorities so we will only need one single visa," said Beck.
She said Royal Caribbean had experienced "excellent cooperation from ADTA, DTCM and Fujairah Tourism Board” on the issue. "Immigration is a serious topic. We know it is happening, and we look forward to it happening," said Beck.