Chinese and South Korean visitors to receive visas on arrival
The UAE is continuing to expand the number of countries whose citizens can visit without a visa. Now, over 45 nations are able to travel to the UAE without applying for a visa ahead of time, with China and South Korea being the latest additions.
Visitors from China, the world’s second largest economy, will now be given visas on arrival to the UAE. The announcement came early September, replacing the previous protocol in which visitors from China had to obtain a visa prior to landing in the UAE. China’s increasingly prosperous middle class is travelling in numbers greater than ever before and since the UAE has invested billions of dollars to put itself on the map as a regional business and tourism hub, attracting the Chinese tourism market has never been so fundamental. In 2015, 450,000 Chinese visitors landed in Dubai which is already an impressive 29 per cent increase on the previous year.
“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 HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, adding: “Our relations with China are strategic and a priority.”
Additionally, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that established a visa-waiver program that will allow people to travel to each other's country without a visa for up to three months. The agreement was signed by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in York on the side-lines of the U.N. General Assembly in late September.