The United Arab Emirates passport allows Emiratis to travel to as many as 179 other countries without the need for a visa, and has been declared the world’s best passport, but UAE residents can also travel stress-free thanks to their visa status.
In the first month of 2020, the number of visa-free countries that UAE residents can visit is increasing, with visa on arrival now being offered to UAE residents by Uzbekistan.
Anyone holding a valid UAE residence visa can now travel to at least eight different nations without the need to get a visa beforehand.
UAE residents with a valid visa stamp on their passport for the UK, the US or any Schengen nation are also able to put in an online visa application for countries such as Taiwan and Turkey without visiting embassies or consulates.
Emiratis have been empowered with more options for stress-free travel, says the public relations and communications manager for UAE outbound travel and tour agency Holiday Factory, Nicole Fomina.
Expatriates who are UAE residents benefit from the large number of holiday options that they now have.
Fomina says that UAE residents are able to go to a minimum of eight different countries without needing to get a visa in advance, provided that there are still six months left on their valid UAE resident visa and passport.
Thousands of people in the UAE are taking advantage of this every week, with many holidaying in famous destinations such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kirgizstan, according to Fomina.
A special package for a break of two to three days can be obtained for as little as Dh999, making it much easier for residents as time and money do not have to be spent paying service charges to obtain visas.
Packages can just be purchased and short breaks taken whenever a resident of the UAE feels like it.
The number of UAE residents heading to Azerbaijan has tripled since 2019, when the visa-free entry system was first introduced, according to Dubai’s Consul General of Azerbaijan Javidan Huseynov.
UAE residents and nationals also strongly favour Baku, with over 30 flights operating between the two countries demonstrating the increase in tourism.
Visa-free travel has also caused an increasing amount of contact between the two nations’ people and business communities.
Trips to Azerbaijan can now be organised easily by UAE residents, and tourists visas are available at the airport within Baku and in the country’s other three airports, Huseynov says.
Over the course of the last 10 years, the UAE has been able to acquire visa waivers for a further 11 countries, with the last three years seeing a 161% rise in passport power.
The record-breaking figures saw the UAE take the top spot with a Mobility Score of 179 for the entirety of the 2010s. Anyone travelling from the UAE to another country, or vice versa, should take out travel insurance as financial protection against issues such as lost luggage or cancelled flights.