Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: Airlines in the UAE welcomed the latest move by the government to introduce five-year visas for tourists, saying that it will help attract more tourists, business people, investors, and families.

Adil Al Gaith, senior vice-president of commercial operations for the Gulf, Middle East, and Central Asia at Emirates airline, said the extension of the visa period will help facilitate more movements in and out of Dubai and the UAE.

“The greater UAE economy is poised to positively benefit from this move, especially the air transport and travel sectors, by reducing barriers and stimulating economic activity through longer stays, frequent travel, and increased visitation,” he said.

Al Gaith added the new visa scheme affirms the UAE’s position as a hub for tourism, especially ahead of the Expo 2020 in Dubai this October when visitor inflows are expected to be at an all-time high.

Similarly, a spokesperson at Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways welcomed the news, saying it will further enhance the UAE’s position as a tourist destination.

“Our home, Abu Dhabi, along with the rest of the country offers a diverse range of attractions that will entice tourists back again and again.”

The comments follow an announcement by the UAE Cabinet on Monday to introduce five-year visas for tourists of all nationalities.