On Sunday, VFS Global, the visa outsourcing company, opened a new visa application centre in Abu Dhabi.
The new centre contains 24,000 square feet of space and will serve missions from 28 nations.
Residents will be able to use the centre to put in visa applications for Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
Other countries served by the centre are the Ukraine, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malaysia, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland.
VFS Global’s group COO for the region, Vinay Malhotra, says that the centre situated at the Shining Tower in Al Khalidiya has now been closed down.
All operations have now been moved to the new centre, according to Malhotra.
The new centre has 72 application centres and is able to take 1,500 applications per day – around 100,000 per year.
The new centre is state of the art and integrates all of the capital’s operations.
It is now believed to be one of the company’s flagship centres.
The new centre is situated on Khalifa Bin Zayed the First Street, often referred to as the Airport Road, at The Mall in the World Trade Centre.
The centre offers services such as door passport delivery, pick-ups and drop-offs by a chauffeur, automated processing, and home applying for visas, mobile biometrics, personalised help and more.
Customers at the centre are being served by 150 to 170 members of staff.
Between 100 and 120 other staff members will be added during peak season.
In addition to the standard services, a premium lounge service featuring 24 counters is also offered by the centre.
The premium lounge serves all 28 missions, with the exceptions of Canada and Norway.
The cost of the service is between Dh250 and DH315 for individuals.
There is also an exclusive platinum lounge service – this includes a chauffeur service to the centre and back home in addition to personalised assistance that helps customers complete their application form and pay fees.
Missions that have decided to make use of this service include Belgium, Hungary, Latvia, the UK, Ukraine, Czech Republic, the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia.
The platinum lounge costs Dh1,200 for the UK visa and between Dh600 and Dh650 for the Schengen visa.
The UAE’s Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, who was the inauguration event’s main guest, says that the new centre again proves the rapid growth taking place in the UAE in general and in Abu Dhabi in particular.
Al Banna says that Emiratis and Abu Dhabi residents are very interested in overseas travel, as demonstrated by the sheer number of visa applications processed in recent years by VFS Global.
Anyone who wants to travel overseas from the UAE will not only need a visa for their desired destination but should also take out travel insurance.
Travel insurance guards against the financial risks of travel such as cancelled flights and lost or stolen personal items.