Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announces free one-month extension of UAE tourist visas
Vice President says move will help those unable to leave UAE because of airport closures abroad
Tourists in the UAE will have their visas extended for one month free of charge.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced the move, which applies to all nationalities, to help tourists who may not be able to fly back to their country because of the closure of some airports abroad.
The UAE has been cautiously reopening to tourists after its successful efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubai was among the first global destinations to reopen in July, with stringent safety measures in place.
A negative PCR test result, received within 96 hours from the scheduled flight departure time, is required to enter Dubai for tourists from all but six countries.
Visitors from some countries will be tested again on arrival.
Last week, Abu Dhabi announced international tourists would be welcomed back to the capital from Thursday, December 24.
Travellers will need to present a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours of their scheduled departure, as previously stated.
They must undergo a second PCR test on landing in Abu Dhabi.
Travellers from green countries must self-isolate until they receive a negative result from the PCR test taken on landing.
The countries on the green list are Australia, Brunei, China, Greece, Greenland, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Hong Kong is also on the list.
This month, Sheikh Mohammed launched a UAE-wide tourism campaign to attract international visitors and boost staycations.
The "World’s Coolest Winter" campaign invites people to explore the hidden gems of the seven emirates.
During its 45-day run, overseen by the Ministry of Economy in collaboration with local tourism entities, the campaign will highlight the landmarks and attractions that distinguish every emirate and contribute to the UAE as a single destination.
It is part of a wider plan to double by 2030 the annual Dh41.2 billion ($11.2bn) spent on domestic tourism and encourage staycations.
Sheikh Mohammed said an Emirati winter was something to enjoy.
"The UAE has the most beautiful winter, it has the most beautiful people and it has the most beautiful services that any tourist can enjoy," he said.
"I invite everyone to travel in the Emirates and explore the spirit of the Emirates."
The emergence of a new Covid-19 strain has prompted some countries to suspend international flights.
Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have each halted inbound flights to prevent the spread of the virus.
As the new, more infectious strain is believed to have emerged in the UK, many countries have temporarily halted flights to Britain.
Updated: December 29, 2020 11:49 AM