Month in Review: April 2017

Travel News 07 May 2017

For April 2017

Flydubai to increase flights to Russia

State-owned budget airline flydubai will increase capacity to Russia by up to 50 percent from September partly in response to a new visa system for Russian citizens travelling to the United Arab Emirates.

Flydubai had carved out a niche connecting Dubai to destinations in Russia and former Soviet states that previously had limited or no direct air links with the city state.

Flydubai currently operates 29 weekly flights to seven Russian destinations. Russian visitors to Dubai rose 106 percent in the first three months of 2017 after the UAE said in January it would grant Russians visas on arrival.


Qatar Airways offers free accommodation for Doha stopover

Qatar Airways has launched a stopover package in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority to promote and market Qatar as a destination of choice for international travellers. 

The new arrangement will offer transit passengers the opportunity to discover Doha with free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas. 

The offer is part of a broader campaign called +Qatar which looks to encourage all transit passengers to consider adding Qatar to their itinerary. 

Throughout the summer, the national carrier, with the support of QTA, will give passengers the chance to turn a layover into a stay over by offering four and five star hotel accommodation at no charge to those transiting through Doha. 

The promotion invites all Qatar Airways passengers to add Doha to their vacation by taking advantage of a free one-night hotel stay from a selection of the country’s best four- and five-star hotels in the capital, Doha.


Japan offers visa free entry for UAE nationals

From July 1, Emiratis with registered e-passports can enter Japan as many times as they want for 30-day periods.

Under the new rules, which come into effect from July 1, Emiratis with ordinary e-passports can fill in a simple form and pre-register at Japanese embassies or consulates around the world, free of charge.

There, their passport will be registered and returned the next day. Holders of the newly registered e-passport can then enter Japan as many times as they want during a three-year period or whenever their passport expires — whichever comes first. However, pre-registration will not be needed for those who already possess valid visas for short-term stay.

Those who wish to stay more than 30 days still need to obtain a conventional visa. Meanwhile, UAE nationals who possess valid diplomatic or special passports and wish to enter Japan for a period of not more than 90 consecutive days can enter Japan without a visa.


UAE visa on arrival for Indians with US visa, Green Card

Indian passport holders with a valid American visa or a Green Card will now be eligible to obtain a UAE visa on arrival.

The visa will be valid for 14 days, with a single extension possible for a fee. The decision to have a simplified visa process is aimed at advancing the UAE-India relations in economic, politics, and trade.

It also contributes to achieving UAE’s vision to be the leading country in attracting global tourism. The number of Indian tourists coming to the UAE last year reached about 1.6 million Indian tourists, and there were about 50,000 UAE tourists who visited India in the same year.

There are about 143 flights a day between the UAE and Indian cities, at a rate of 1000 flights per week.