Dubai: GCC residents can now apply for their entry visas to the UAE through an online portal called ‘Fawri’, the Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday. The Fawri service aims to expedite passenger movement across the UAE’s entry points and streamline the visa process for passengers before they arrive in the country.

The service, which is accessible through the ministry’s website and smart app, allows those residing in other GCC countries and those accompanying them, such as domestic helpers, to get their UAE entry permits (visas) via the various ports across the country. Other countries forming the GCC include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, assistant undersecretary of the ministry for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports, said the new service aims to ultimately save time and effort for travellers.

“This step is in line with the vision of the Government aimed at upgrading services provided to the public and empowering the concept of fast, high-quality services,” Maj Gen Al Khaili said.

In May, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) launched a similar service specific to travellers coming to the UAE through Dubai.

Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Mohammad Al Shimmari, CEO of the Smart Government Programme at the ministry, said: “The ministry seeks to live up to its slogan ‘Our Services Within your Reach ... Your Satisfaction is our Aim’ by providing electronic and smart services in secure, quick and accurate steps. The service is also in line with the UAE’s National Agenda for the coming years,” he said.

Lt Col Al Shimmari called on the public to submit proposals that would enhance the ministry’s services to

“The ministry has allocated the phone number 800500 to receive the public’s inquiries and to facilitate the completion of transactions,” Lt Col Al Shimmari said.