Dubai: Chinese visitors to the UAE will now be granted visas on arrival, the Cabinet announced on Sunday.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, has a burgeoning and increasingly prosperous middle class that is travelling abroad in numbers greater than ever before.
“We have approved a decision to grant visas on arrival at the country’s airports to visitors from the People's Republic of China,” said His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.
“Our relations with China are strategic and a priority,” he added in remarks published on his official Twitter account.
Chinese tourists previously had to obtain visas before travelling to the UAE.
The UAE has invested billions of dollars over more than a decade to put itself on the map as a regional business and tourism hub.
Among the UAE’s seven emirates, Dubai is the most attractive for tourists.
More than 14.2 million people visited Dubai in 2015, but the target is 25 million by 2020 when the Gulf emirate hosts the global trade fair Expo 2020.
In February, officials said 450,000 Chinese visitors made the trip to Dubai in 2015, in a 29 per cent increase over the previous year.
Apart from citizens of its five Gulf neighbours, nationals of 47 countries - most of them Westerners - can obtain a visa on arrival to the UAE.