Visitors under 18 traveling to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and/or the rest of the UAE with a parent of theirs get a free UAE visa. This scheme applies from July 15th to September 15th yearly.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, puts a premium on tourism and this has informed the various destinations it now boasts. In Dubai for example, you see the chic skyline, and posh landscape, among other things. The city boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper since 2010, the world’s most luxurious hotel, some of the world’s tallest hotels, one of the world’s biggest shopping malls, Dubai Mall, the world’s tallest and biggest choreographed fountain, Dubai Fountain, some of the biggest mam-made archipelagoes etc.
Not long ago, a free-SIM-for-tourists initiative was introduced in Dubai. And now, we see an initiative on complimentary visa for tourists below the age of 18 and this is even more significant. It is small wonder the UAE is thriving in tourism. It has been said that crude oil culminates in only about 5% of Dubai’s economy.
Given such tourists’ friendly initiatives as the foregoing, it is little wonder Dubai is the world’s fourth most visited city with the world’s busiest airport.
This Under-18 scheme is sequel to a cabinet decision issued in July 2018. The decision demands the waiver of visa fee for the under-18 category from July 15th to September 15th yearly.
While the scheme was initially announced in June 19th, more details including the official start date only became available much later.
With the initiative, parents will now save the visa fee they’d normally spend on their children, whatever the number of children they’re traveling with. Usually a tourist visa fee for a child starts at AED 350.
The current director general of the Foreigners Affairs and Ports Authority, Major General Saeed Rakan Rashidi says tourists could apply for the visa through its smart app (ICA UAE e-channels) in the category of family tourist visa, or through its website www.ica.gov.ae. As well as, by booking flights through national carriers Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia, and licenced travel agencies, provided they buy tickets from their offices and UAE hotels.
Further, Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi says if tourists are applying for the exemption through hotels, they need to “comply” with their reservations.