Visa-on-arrival programme extended to include key CIS source market

Visa-on-arrival programme extended to include key CIS source market

Kazakhstan citizens will soon be able to enter the UAE without first applying for a visa, following a decision by the country’s authorities to extend its visa on arrival programme to include the CIS country.

The UAE-Kazakhstan agreement will enable Kazakhs to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days visa-free.

Announcing the development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Kazakhstan said in a statement: "Kazakhstan and the UAE have completed domestic procedures in accordance with the agreement between the two countries on the abolition of visa requirements for citizens of both countries, holders of civil passports for up to 30 days, signed in May 2017 in Astana.

"After 30 days of stay, citizens of Kazakhstan need to leave the territory of the UAE.

"In case of violation of the period of stay, local legislation provides for an administrative penalty of Dh200 on the first day and Dh100 for each subsequent day.”

Visitor numbers from Russia and China – the first two beneficiaries of the UAE’s recently extended visa waiver programme – have ballooned in the past 12 months.

In fact, the two countries ranked as Dubai’s fastest growing tourism source markets in 2017, with 764,000 Chinese tourists visiting the emirate last year (+41% year-on-year increase), and 530,000 Russians (+121% YoY).

Overall, China ranked as Dubai’s fifth most important tourism source market last year, while Russia ranked eighth.

The inclusion of Kazakhstan in the UAE’s visa waiver programme is likely to have a similar positive impact on visitor numbers from the country.

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