Muscat: Airline officials and travel agents have so far not received complaints from passengers being turned away from airports and borders due to e-visa requirement but added that the picture will be clear only after a few more days.
“So far, we have not received any complaints. The e-visa processing system seems to be working smoothly. Passengers have told us that the system is smooth now, unlike in November when it was introduced. However, only after a few more days will we be able to say that there are no complaints at all,” Raji Demonte, general manager at Universal Travel and Tourism, told the Times of Oman.
Since April 29, all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents/permit holders have to pre-apply for an on-line visa prior to their travel to UAE.
Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, Captain Khalil Ibrahim, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said that effective April 29, 2016, all GCC residents/permit holders will need to pre-apply for an on-line visa prior to their travel to the UAE.
The official added that this will be applicable at all airports in the emirates plus border entry points from Oman.
He had also warned that people will be turned away from the border or from the airport if they don’t have an e-visa.
Meanwhile, officials from airlines also said they have not heard or received any complaint from passengers being turned away from airports or borders.
“It seems that the e-visa system is working fast and smooth. Nobody has come forward with grievances,” officials from Oman Air and a Dubai-based budget airline in Oman, said.
A Times of Oman reader said the new updated website on EDNRD.ae to apply for e-visa is really quick, efficient and reliable.
“Unlike in November, when I had to wait for eight days for my own visa and about a month for the 'visa rejected' status of my children, this time I received my visa within 24 hours and for my parents and children too... A big round of applause for the UAE authorities for looking into the feedback and implementing steps to improve the system,” Dr Wahid Khan, a reader, told the Times of Oman.
“While applying, you should have all the documents needed. Then it’s quite easy,” he added.
There are more than 1.5 million expatriate residents in Oman and those wishing to travel to the UAE need an e-visa to cross the border into the UAE, whether by land or air.