travel holiday
Want to plan a holiday without worrying about visa regulations? Here are your options. Stock image used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Planning a short vacation but do not want to wait to receive visa approvals? As long as you hold a valid UAE residence visa and Emirates ID, you can get a visa on arrival to five popular tourist destinations, which are a short flight away.

1. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan and Georgia have become increasingly popular as quick tourist destinations for UAE residents, and UAE-based airlines offer several packages to these countries, according to Haris Bashir, a travel consultant at Dubai-based travel agency, Chinnar Travels.

“In the last two years, these packages [for Georgia and Azerbaijan] have become highly popular among residents … they include flight tickets and hotel stay,” he said.

“For Azerbaijan, you have two options – first, apply for an eVisa online before you travel, or second, get a visa on arrival stamped on your passport when you land there,” Bashir said.

While both these visa options cost approximately Dh140, Bashir said that the advantage of applying for an eVisa was lesser time spent at the airport, once you land.

“If you are choosing a visa on arrival, you would need to scan your passport at the smart machines that have been installed at the airport, and enter your trip details, to get the visa on arrival. If you have an eVisa, you can directly go to the immigration counter,” Bashir said.

Visa requirements

- Your passport should be valid for at least six months
- Your UAE residence visa should be valid for at least three months.

Visa validity

You can stay in the country for up to 30 days on an eVisa or visa on arrival.

In the last two years, these packages [for Georgia and Azerbaijan] have become highly popular among residents … they include flight tickets and hotel stay.

- Haris Bashir, a travel consultant at Dubai-based travel agency, Chinnar Travels

2. Georgia

Georgia
A view of the city of Kutaisi, which is a four-hour drive from Tbilisi. Image Credit: Tomáš Malík/Pexels

Georgia only offers a visa on arrival, which is valid for 30 days, according to Bashir, but you need to ensure you meet the following requirements:

- Your passport should be valid for at least six months
- Your UAE residence visa should be valid for at least three months.

He added that UAE residents may have to provide their accommodation, travel and health insurance details and may be asked to prove that they have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay. If you book a flight with a UAE-based airline, the travel insurance cost is covered and included in the overall cost.

Visa validity

A visa on arrival allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days.

Proof of funds
“Having a hotel booking for the duration of stay is usually enough, but there may be cases when immigration authorities require you to prove that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay,” Bashir said.
If so, you may need to provide the required proof, which may be a recent bank statement, or even the possession of a credit or debit card, according to Bashir.

3. Maldives

Maldives
THE MALDIVES: A nation of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives attracts visitors with its unique geography and marine life. It has about five per cent of the Earth’s reefs that house a thousand species of fish. The azure waters and pure white beaches are also magnets for tourists. Image Credit: Pixabay

According to the Maldives Immigration Authority's website - immigration.gov.mv, a tourist visa is granted for all nationalities on arrival to Maldives. “As such, a foreigner travelling to Maldives as a tourist does not require pre-approval for the visa,” the website adds.

However, you must fulfil the following basic entry requirements, as per Maldives Immigration:

• A machine-readable passport or travel document with at least one-month validity.
• A complete travel itinerary – including return tickets, confirmed hotel booking details, and proof that you have sufficient funds. You may be required to provide these details by immigration officers in the Maldives.
• You must submit a ‘Traveller Declaration’ form within 96 hours of the flight time, during arrival and departure to and from the Maldives. You can fill out the form through the Maldives Immigration online portal - https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/
• Entry requirements to your onward destinations. For example, if you are planning to return to the UAE after your trip, you can provide your passport and UAE residence visa copy. Both the passport and residence visa should be valid for at least six months.

Visa validity

A visa on arrival allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days.

4. Seychelles

SEYCHELLES
SEYCHELLES: An archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles boasts of numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Image Credit: Pixabay

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, all nationalities can travel to the country visa-free.

“Although a visa is not required to enter Seychelles, visitors should nevertheless have in their possession a valid passport or other travel documents recognised by the government of Seychelles to gain entry,” the official website of Department of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles states.

An entry permit is issued on arrival to travellers, who meet the following criteria:

• The passport is valid for the period of the intended stay until you return to your country of origin or residence.
• A valid return ticket or ticket for onward travel for the duration of the visit.
• Confirmed accommodation.
• Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay, which is a minimum of US$150 (Dh550) or equivalent in foreign currency per day.

Visa validity

A visa on arrival allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days.

5. Uzbekistan 

Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan Image Credit: Ehsan Haque/Pexels

Another destination where UAE residents of all nationalities can enter without a pre-entry visa is Uzbekistan.

UAE-based airlines offer direct flights to three major cities in Uzbekistan – Tashkent, the capital, and Samarkand and Namangan.

Visa requirements:

For UAE residents to enter Uzbekistan visa-free, they need to meet the following conditions:

• An Emirates ID with at least three months validity.
• A passport with at least six months validity.

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Visa validity:

Once you have provided the documents to passport control, you will be granted a 30-day visa-free entry.

If you want to avoid the visa on arrival queue at the airport, you can also apply for an eVisa is advance, through the country’s official online visa portal - e-visa.gov.uz.

The cost for the eVisa is US$20 (Dh73.45) and the approval process can take two working days. If your application is approved, you will receive your eVisa on your registered email address, in a PDF format.