Muscat: Airline and travel agents have once again reiterated that passengers wishing to travel to Dubai will require an e-visa to cross the border into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) whether by land or air.
“The e-visa process is working well and we are asking passengers to not board the flight if do not hold an e-visa for Dubai,” Pooja Tyagi, commercial manager, Oman and Bahrain, flydubai said.
Effective April 29, all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents/permit holders will require an online visa prior to their travel to the UAE, which is applicable at all airports in the Emirates and at border entry points from Oman.
The only exception to the rule is the nationalities of around 46 countries, which have a treaty with the UAE, such as the United Kingdom or European Union countries. Citizens of these countries have a choice between getting a visa-on-arrival or applying for a visa online.
Travel agents also confirmed that passengers have adapted to the new system. “Now, nobody is taking a risk. They are getting their visa before travelling,” Mohammed Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan, the general manager of New Star International Travel and Tours LLC, said.
The cost of a Dubai e-visa is around OMR25, but if the airlines or travel agents apply, they charge a little more to process the visa.
“Travel agents also confirmed that armed with an e-visa, passengers are cutting down on time spent at the border and at airports,” Bhuiyan said.
Passengers said the queue is getting cleared fast at the immigration counters of the airport. “I went out from the Terminal 2 at the Airport of Dubai within 15 minutes as everybody was carrying an e-visa with them,” said M Ghosh, who recently travelled to Dubai.
Earlier, only expatriates holding a certain professional status were eligible to get a visa-on-arrival in the UAE.