Dubai: While the UAE passport has officially been declared the best travel document in the world allowing Emiratis to travel to 179 countries visa free, expatriates living here also feel empowered as they also enjoy hassle free travel due to their UAE resident visa status.
The list of visa free countries for UAE residents has spruced up this month with Uzbekistan offering visa on arrival to UAE residents from January 1, 2020.
If you hold a valid UAE residence visa, you can now travel to at least eight countries without obtaining visa in advance. It means that a UAE resident can get visa on arrival in at least eight countries. Also, UAE residents, who have valid visa stamped on their passport for US, UK or any Schengen country, can also apply for online visa for several countries including Turkey and Taiwan without the need to going to the consulates or embassies.
“Your passport with valid UAE visa definitely empower you with more hassle free travel options,” said Nicole Fomina, Public Relations and Communications Manager of the Holiday Factory, a leading outbound travel and tour agency in the UAE. She said that being UAE residents definitely benefit expatriates as they have wide range of options when it comes to going on holidays.
Famina told Gulf News that a UAE resident can travel to at least eight countries without obtaining visa in advance provided their UAE resident visa and passport is valid for at least six months.
“Thousands of UAE residents take advantage of this unique benefit every week as many of them opt to go to spend holidays in countries like Azerbaijan, Kirgizstan and Georgia as they are famous destinations,” she added.
Affodable travel packages
Special packages which can be as little as Dh999 for two to three days break make residents life very easy as they do not have to spend money in time in obtaining visas and paying service charges.
You can just take the package and go on a short holiday whenever you want.
Azerbaijan-- a favourite destination
“The number of UAE residents visiting Azerbaijan has tripled since the visa free entry was introduced last year,” Javidan Huseynov, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Dubai told Gulf News. He said Baku has become one of the most favourite destinations among UAE nationals and the residents. Now more than 30 flights operate between the UAE and Azerbaijan clearly showing the surge in tourism. The visa free travel has also resulted in increasing contacts between business communities and people of the two countries.
“Now, UAE residents can easily organise trips to Azerbaijan and can obtain the tourist visa to our country at the airport in Baku as well as at the other airports of Azerbaijan,” he said.
He said that number of Emiratis tourists and businessmen visiting Azerbaijan has also increased manifold over the last couple of years due to relaxed visa policies.
In the last decade, the UAE gained visa waivers to additional 111 countries, most of which have taken place in the last three years with an outstanding 161 per cent increase in passport power.
These record-breaking numbers led the UAE to shine in first place with a record-breaking 179 Mobility Score from 2010-2019.
The online search for ‘visa free countries for UAE residents’ is also quite popular in the UAE especially during long weekends, school holidays and Eid holidays.
UAE is the top passport
Since UAE has a unique location and makes it easier to travel to countries around the world, residents look for the new ‘budget’ destinations to explore. Being expatriates, they want to make maximum of their time and money while opting for holidays and the visa free travel makes their job very easy.
It must be clarified that UAE residents from across the country have also visa-free access to many more countries depending on their nationalities but there are many countries which allow visa free entry to all UAE residents regardless of their country of origin.
Some major countries include:
Uzbekistan (from January 1, 2020)
If you have valid US, Schengen of UK visa stamped on your passport
Turkey - online