Experts within the tourism industry have shared optimisim following the announcement of the mult-entry five-year tourist visa rolling out in the UAE.
Sister publication Arabian Business spoke to a handful of experts for their take on the the visa, ranging from the tourism sector, to travel, to the holiday home industy.
PwC Legal, Middle East immigration and employment leader, Anir Chatterji told Arabian Business: “The UAE is already considered a global tourist hub and the introduction of a five-year multiple entry tourist visa in the year of Expo 2020 will further support the country’s ambition to be recognised as the most visited country in the world, with the aim of attracting over 40 million tourists over the next ten years.”
The Dubai Government is hoping that Expo, which is being held in the emirate from October 20 this year to April 10, 2021, will draw some 25 million visits, many of them from abroad.
Aldar Properties, chief executive officer, Talal Al Dhiyebi told Arabian Business: “This (five-year visa) marks an important milestone for the UAE diversification efforts and a significant move that will not only support tourism activity, but will also reflect positively on the national economy, and the retail and hospitality sectors in particular.”
According to Mercer’s fourth annual Total Remuneration Study, which was released in October last year, 45% of respondents said they planned to increase their headcount in 2020, while 52% expected to maintain their staffing levels and only three percent said they were considering a decrease.
Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, UAE head of employment, Joanna Matthews-Taylor said that while holders of a tourist visa are not permitted to ‘work’, it is likely that the new visa option will also facilitate business travel, allowing holders to enter and exit the country with ease to attend meetings and presentations.
“An increase in the number of expatriates in UAE is also advantageous from a talent acquisition perspective. Facilitation of entry to the UAE will result in a larger readily available pool of candidates in the country, allow candidates to commence work more quickly and reduce relocation expenses,” she added.
Bnbme CEO, Vinayak Mahtani said the move would also have a positive impact on the country’s real estate industry.
“Dubai will become an option for short-break vacations, especially from countries like India and Pakistan where the flight is only a couple of hours and fairly reasonable. Visits will be shorted but a lot more frequent so instead of coming and spending five nights a year in Dubai once or twice a year, they will end up coming three or four time for three to four nights,” he told Arabian Business.
“To that end, investment in real estate, especially for the holiday home purpose, will benefit not only through frequent and ease of travel, but also the thought process of wanting to own a second home or holiday home.”