Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The feature – an extension of the online flight booking process on www.emirates.com - can be accessed by valid Emirates ticket holders from 35 select countries. Only 30-day and 96-hour visit visas to Dubai, UAE are available through the new feature, subject to all pre-requisites being met. The pre-requisites are defined by Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) as it takes the decision to grant the visa. (www.dnrd.gov.ae ).
A 96-hour visa will cost US$ 44 while a 30-day visa will cost US$ 57. Service fees are applied separately.
Visas are delivered via email within four international working days. Passengers can continually track the status of their applications via www.emirates.com
Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide noted: “Advancements in aviation are often related to simplifications in the travel process. I’m delighted Emirates is advancing travel convenience by allowing its customers to apply, purchase and track their UAE visa online - another initiative in a series of self-service tools that offer more convenience, flexibility and control to passengers. Taking place from the comfort of one’s home, office or hotel, it requires none of the running around often associated with submitting forms, securing approvals and collecting visas.
“It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Dubai and its tourism industry. The timely introduction of this feature ahead of the summer rush will facilitate travel for scores of tourists visiting the emirate during the Dubai Summer Surprises.”
Groups and families stand to gain significantly as the feature accepts multiple requests of up to nine people as long as they are on the same booking. It is available to Emirates ticket holders regardless of whether the booking is facilitated via www.emirates.com, an Emirates office or a travel agent.
In its initial phase the facility is being rolled out in 35 countries* in the Far East, Indian sub-continent, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In the second phase, due to roll out in the coming weeks, offline markets will be targeted. These comprise countries that do not have Emirates services, but which connect to nearby gateways of the Dubai-based airline.
Passengers click ‘Manage Your Booking’ on www.emirates.com and proceed with seven simple steps to complete the transaction. Passengers have the flexibility to request visas at the time of or after the flight booking has been completed.
Emirates has partnered with VFS Global to introduce this feature. VFS Global - a part of Switzerland-based Kuoni Travel Group – is a specialist partner for diplomatic missions worldwide, processing over 7 million (contracted) visa applications per year. It operates the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) in 11 countries. DVPC does not process work visas.