Dubai: Emirates has become the only Middle Eastern airline to offer 96-hour and 30-day entry visas to Dubai through its website.
The feature – an extension of the online flight booking process on Emirates.com - can be accessed by Emirates ticket holders from 35 countries, the airline said in a statement.
The visas to Dubai are available subject to meeting all pre-requisites defined by the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), it said.
A 96-hour visa will cost $44 while a 30-day visa will cost $57. Service fees are applied separately. Visas are delivered via email within four international working days. Passengers can track the status of their applications via the Emirates website.
“Advancements in aviation are often related to simplifications in the travel process. I’m delighted Emirates is advancing travel convenience by allowing its customers to apply, purchase and track their UAE visa online - another initiative in a series of self-service tools that offer more convenience, flexibility and control to passengers,” Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said in the statement.
“It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Dubai and its tourism industry. The timely introduction of this feature ahead of the summer rush will facilitate travel for scores of tourists visiting the emirate during the Dubai Summer Surprises.”
Groups and families stand to gain as the feature accepts multiple requests of up to nine people as long as they are on the same booking. It is available to Emirates ticket holders regardless of whether the booking is facilitated via Emirates.com, an Emirates office or a travel agent.
In its initial phase the facility is being rolled out in 35 countries in the Far East, Indian sub-continent, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In the second phase, which will roll out in coming weeks, offline markets will be targeted, the airline said. These comprise countries that do not have Emirates services, but which connect to nearby gateways of the Dubai-based airline.
Passengers have the flexibility to request visas at the time of or after the flight booking has been completed.
Emirates has partnered with VFS Global to introduce this feature. VFS Global - a part of Switzerland-based Kuoni Travel Group – is a specialist partner for diplomatic missions worldwide, processing over 7 million visa applications per year.
It operates the Dubai Visa Processing Centre in 11 countries, but does not process work visas.