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UAE ranks fourth best place for expats to live and work

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? If you answered the UAE, you’re definitely not alone in your answer. Things were recently made official when HSBC revealed the United Arab Emirates earned an impressive fourth spot in its Expat Explorer Report 2021.

The global survey looked at living and working conditions for expats, including aspirational and future outlooks. And it’s a pretty big deal. HSBC’s survey is the longest-running independent global survey of expats, and it is conducted by a third party research company, YouGov, with insight from more than 20,460 expats from over 46 countries and regions. This year’s data was collected between April and May.

Overall, the UAE earned an impressive fourth spot. It also came fourth in the aspiring rank category. In terms of future outlook and living rank, it polled eighth.

There are approximately 9.99 million expats in the United Arab Emirates. Whether you’re in the capital of Abu Dhabi or Al Ain, you likely know what a great place the United Arab Emirates is to live and work — and probably already hold it in your No.1 spot.

From gorgeous weather, the Gulf at our feet, and, of course, Expo 2020 Dubai, there are a myriad of things to make the UAE’s case for a top spot.

Wondering what countries just inched out the Unite Arab Emirates? Switzerland came at the top of the list, earning a first place in living rank, aspiring rank and overall rank. Australia was second overall followed by New Zealand. But, do they have Expo 2020, Arabian Oryxes and are they celebrating their Golden Jubilee? Exactly.

Dubai: New AI system to detect violations, issue fines at pedestrian crossings

Dubai Police are showcasing artificial intelligence technologies that can detect motorists who use mobile phones, do not give way to pedestrians, or refuse to wear seat belts while driving.

The “Pedestrian Crossings Monitoring System” is equipped with solar power and sensors to detect the movement of pedestrians on both sides of the road. It flashes red to warn drivers to stop and give priority to pedestrians and issues fines against violators.

The new-age technologies are being showcased at the Dubai Police’s Gitex Global stand at Sheikh Saeed Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The five-day exhibition began on Sunday, October 17.

The General Department of Protective Security & Emergency is also showcasing its Smart Inquiry Project in Gold Souk, which allows customers and tourists to access all necessary information and services of the market shops, and conveniently contact the concerned authorities at Dubai Police when making complaints or filing criminal reports.

The General Department is also presenting a Police Dog Training Simulator, through which police dogs can be trained by professionals for multiple scenarios and situations.

Ain Dubai officially open: 5 astounding facts about the world’s largest observation wheel

First announced in February 2013, Ain Dubai, welcomed its first guests to view some of the most spectacular landmarks in the country.

Ain Dubai is epitome of Dubai’s continued commitment to developing the emirate’s offerings as a tourism and lifestyle destination and enriching the quality of life of people who live in Dubai.

Here are some astounding facts about Ain Dubai.

Observation Cabins

The observation cabins of Ain Dubai, provide visitors the perfect vantage point for 360-degree views of Dubai – over the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Passengers can board into one of 48 luxurious cabins, each able to carry up to 40 guests. So at any one time, there can be up to 1,750 people on the wheel.

One complete rotation of the wheel takes 38 minutes and it’s as steady as a rock. If you find this hard to believe, watch Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, sipping a beverage perched on top of a cabin.

At 250 metres, it’s almost twice the height of the London Eye.

With the arrival of Ain Dubai, the London Eye at a mere 135 metres is pushed down to fifth place on a list of the world’s tallest wheels.

The current tallest – Las Vegas’ High Roller – stands at a height of 167.5 metres, with the Singapore Flyer reaching a height of 165 metres and China’s Star of Nanchang standing at 160 metres tall.

Over 10 key countries came together to build it

Building a marvel of engineering was a global effort.

More than 10 countries have come together to create Ain Dubai, with the steel wheel structure produced across the UAE, South Korea and Germany.

The UK, France and Netherlands provided key engineering and project management expertise.

Two largest cranes in the world

Standing at over 250 metres, Ain Dubai was built by the two largest cranes in the world.

Mammoet was awarded the heavy lifting contract to install the key structural elements of the wheel. Mammoet proposed installing the largest elements, the legs and spindle, directly from the barge they arrived on onto foundations with two of their super heavy lift cranes.

For the installation, Mammoet paired the world’s biggest crane – PTC 200-DS – a 5000t ring crane, with a 3000t crawler crane.

11,200 tonnes of steel used

Ain Dubai’s key components were assembled using two of the world’s largest cranes, and the structure used 11,200 tonnes of steel in its construction, 33 percent more than the amount used to build the Eiffel Tower.

The attraction joins Dubai Holding’s extensive entertainment portfolio, which includes Dubai Parks and Resorts, Global Village, Coca-Cola Arena, Roxy Cinemas, leading waterparks and much more.

Fashion, media, business career options in space are limitless, says Shelli Brunswick

Dubai: Did you know? We have baby food thanks to space technology. Apparently supplements and formulated food, all come from space.

Shelli Brunswick, Chief Operation Officer of Space Foundation’s gentle reminder to take vitamins is more than trivia – it is the future of a burgeoning space economy that has brought us our Zoom calls, remote schooling, virtual doctor’s appointment and card transactions. We certainly don’t think about the 24 GPS satellites in orbit when we fire up our navigation app before a drive.

But we should, insists Brunswick in an interview with Gulf News at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week – because in the next 10 years, the global space industry will be valued at $1 trillion. Currently 80 per cent of that economy in the US is commercial, inclusive of Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX. If the space-developed GPS had not been opened to the public in the 1980s, we would be missing out on life’s most convenient inventions and jobs.

Fashion goes to space

“I do not have a STEM degree but a Master’s in Business Administration. There are many paths into the space industry that could come from different backgrounds and interdisciplinary skills,” said Brunswick, who worked as a project manager in the US Air Force before joining Space Foundation in 2015. “We still need people who can pass math for astronomy, but we also need business leaders, artists, media correspondents, fashion designers and photographers.”

Career options in space are as limitless and diverse as the interstellar expanse itself. Think SpaceX and its one-piece white space suits reminiscent of superhero franchises. Musk hired Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez to bring some of that coolness beyond Earth, giving astronauts a refreshing makeover even in zero gravity.

Brunswick says entrepreneurs and start-ups looking to break ground can visit business-focused webinars on the Space Foundation website. Experts from Mark Sirangelo, CEO of Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems, to Thomas E. Zelibor, CEO of the foundation, will tell firms how they can apply space technologies to grow their businesses. Others predict how space commerce will evolve and the ways in which entrepreneurs can capitalise on these foreseeable changes.

NASA patents up for grabs

“Understand what being an entrepreneur means. I call them problem solvers because they see a problem as an opportunity to solve a challenge in unique ways,” said Brunswick. “Many already have ideas [to execute], but if they don’t then they can go to the NASA Technology Transfer Office or the European Space Agency Transfer Office. There are thousands of patents that are waiting to be commercialised.”

Technology that has taken humans to the Moon and rovers to Mars is waiting to be commercialised on Earth, and the untapped potential lies within innovative entrepreneurs.

NASA’s technology transfer program has an extensive portfolio of patents that anyone can cash in on. Categories are wide-ranging; start-ups can browse options from communications and software to environment and medicine. These portfolios are ideal for brainstorming business ideas and testing waters, says Brunswick.

“A former NFL football player applied for a patent, and NASA supported and helped him to create a new app for physical fitness and health,” she added.

And if the thought of building from ground up sounds intimidating, work for an entrepreneur who is already there. It takes a strong team of marketing experts, financial advisors and budget managers to go to space. The choices are – limitless, as they say.

Gitex 2021: Your face will replace your Emirates ID card soon

Residents holding an Emirates ID can register for the face recognition service from an ICA customer service station, smart apps or self-service machines.

Your Emirates ID could soon be history as proof of identification. In the near future, your face will be your identity – literally – and provide all details about you in the UAE.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has launched the upgraded version of the Digital Certification Portal for government and private institutions to verify the personal identity of individuals using the facial recognition feature.

“This upgraded technology does the validation of your face and stores it in the database. The algorithm will capture the facial biometrics and get the details of your identity. The technology may be available within a month,” said Majed Alblooshi, head of digital services section, ICA.

The updated algorithm of facial recognition allows easy identification of individuals within only three seconds and the service is available for Emirates ID holders who are 15 years and above.

Anyone holding an Emirates ID can register for the service from a customer service station, smart apps or self-service machines. Once the facial biometric is registered at the ICA portal, the user receives a One Time Password (OTP) for confirmation of his identity. “Once the identity is confirmed, physical Emirates ID is not required to confirm one’s identity. This new system will do it.”

“The user’s data, including Emirates ID number, passport number, unified identification number and a specific QR code will be saved and he/she can get the digital copy of their Emirates ID, passport etc. The QR code generated for the user can also be used for identity by confirming with the OTP,” Alblooshi said.

“UAE nationals will have an option for a family book, and for expats a residency copy will be saved along with details of the dependents,” Alblooshi added.

Alblooshi mentioned that this will ease operations in banking, healthcare and various businesses, and also with the government entities.

“The UAE is focusing on digitalisation for a positive change. This is one of the projects that we are following.” Alblooshi concluded.

UAE surpasses US, UK to rank 11th in nation brand

Successful handling of Covid-19 and achievements in science and education improved perception about country.

The UAE has been named the world’s 11th strongest nation brand, surpassing big countries like the US, the UK, Japan, France and others as the successful handling of Covid-19 and achievements in science and education — especially the successful Emirates Mars Mission — improved perception about the country worldwide, according to Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2021 report.

The UAE has climbed three spots since last year following a 2.5-point increase in its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score to 79.1 out of 100.

“The UAE punches well above its weight in terms of nation brand strength and challenges the Western status quo in the ranking. As the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee year, it continues to fly the flag high, promoting the nation’s achievements across the world through ground-breaking initiatives like the Emirates Mars Mission and serving as the gateway to the region by hosting the world for 182 days at Expo 2020,” said Andrew Campbell, managing director, Brand Finance Middle East.

With new coronavirus cases dropping below 100 on Sunday, the UAE has been one of the world’s very few nations that have been winning the battle against the pandemic. The UAE also remains the strongest brand in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Covering opinions of over 75,000 people across more than 100 countries, the study rates 100 countries based on the relative strength of nation brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating brand investment, brand equity, and brand performance.

“Overseas perceptions of the UAE’s prowess in the education and science pillar are high, and the successful Emirates Mars Mission is clearly a factor. The UAE also stands out for its Covid-19 response, and scores high for the Influence and business and trade pillars, both of which should see a further boost from Expo 2020 inaugurated in Dubai this month,” Brand Finance said.

Globally, Switzerland was ranked the world’s strongest brand, followed by Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

The UK, US, Japan and France fell out of the top 10 strongest nation brands ranking due to the perception of how they handled Covid-19. The UK fell from 2nd to 14th, France from 9th to 16th, Japan from 7th to 15th and the US from 4th to 17th.

UAE’s brand value jumps

Importantly, the UAE also improved its position in the nation brand value ranking, claiming the 17th position, moving up one position, following an impressive 11 per cent increase in nation brand value to $749 billion against $672 billion last year.

“The UAE’s continued increases in brand strength and value are testament to the nation’s strategy of diversifying its economy for long-term growth and solidify its position as the foremost nation brand in the Middle East,” it said.

Globally, the top 100 most valuable nation brands in the world have recorded a seven per cent increase in brand value since 2020, signalling that recovery is underway from the Covid-19 pandemic. The total brand value of the top 100 nations stood at $90.8 trillion, still seven per cent lower when compared to 2019.

The US and China claim the first and second spot in the ranking, respectively. The US has recorded a five per cent brand value increase to $24.8 trillion in a year. Similarly, China saw a six per cent uptick in nation brand value to $19.9 trillion.

Dubai leaders show the way in fight against COVID-19

We wish everyone great health, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted while receiving vaccine in 2020

NERVE CENTRE : His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dubai on August 15, 2020.

PANDEMIC BRIEFING : Sheikh Mohammed is briefed on the operations of the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre. He said the UAE has succeeded in tackling the -19 outbreak and set an example for the world on managing the pandemic.
PEP TALK : Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, meet teams implementing the COVID-19 preventive measures on March 15, 2020.
FIELD VISIT : Sheikh Hamdan visits the field hospital at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). It was the biggest COVID facility in the Middle East.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT : Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management with the staff at the DWTC field hospital. He praised the preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
VACCINATION DRIVE : Sheikh Mansoor visited the vaccination facilities at health care centres across Dubai.

TALKING STRATEGY : Sheikh Mansoor, who visited the vaccination facilities at health care centres across Dubai, said the success of task forces in countering the pandemic had been the result of an integrated multipronged strategy.

Sheikh Mansoor is briefed on the vaccination drives organized by health care centres in Dubai. In all, 120 vaccination centres have been set up in Dubai.
BETTER FUTURE : Sheikh Mohammed is briefed on the vaccination drive in the UAE. …we are proud of our teams who have worked relentlessly to make the vaccine available in the UAE. The future will always be better in the UAE,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
A JOB WELL DONE : Sheikh Mohammed with the Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management’s team on September 9. He praised the team’s integral role in managing the pandemic and encouraged them to do their best during Expo 2020 Dubai.

UAE to turn 50: New fundraising campaign launched to transform 5 million lives

A ’50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign has been launched in the lead up to the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, which aims to end neglected tropical diseases, a commitment made by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

People across the UAE will carry on the commitment of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, to end neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with a major fundraising effort.

The ‘50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign will begin on October 14 as the countdown begins to the UAE’s 50th anniversary on December 2.

The effort is led by The Reach Campaign, an awareness and fundraising initiative which aims to end two NTDs – river blindness and lymphatic filariasis – in partnership with Emirates Red Crescent and some of the UAE’s biggest organisations and companies.

All proceeds will benefit the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of the two diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hosted by the END Fund – the leading philanthropic vehicle dedicated to ending NTDs – RLMF is a 10-year, $100 million initiative launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with support from several organisations including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The ELMA Philanthropies.

RLMF delivers preventative treatment for NTDs and focuses on ways to accelerate progress towards elimination – from investing in disease mapping efforts, to supporting advanced lab facilities and cross-border collaborations.

The 50 day campaign aims to raise funds to support these activities and ultimately help protect at least five million people from river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.


Organisations that will work with Reach to achieve its fundraising goal include strategic partner, Emirates Red Crescent; founding partners, ADNOC, Etihad Airways, Lulu Group International and National Health Insurance Company – Daman; and marketing partners, ADCB and Rivoli Group, as well as 18 other major organisations.

A series of fundraising initiatives will be announced over the next 50 days and include personal fundraising challenges, employee giving campaigns, culinary and retail promotions, text-to-give campaigns, a global sweepstakes and an auction of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

River blindness and lymphatic filariasis disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people. Over 200 million people globally require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness, while over 850 million people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis.

Mohamed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent, says: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting the 50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives campaign in partnership with Reach. This campaign aligns with ERC’s values of mobilising human power to support the vulnerable, and as we look to eradicate these preventable diseases, it is crucial for governments, donors, NGOs and the private sector to come together to work toward a more equal future for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Nassar Al Mubarak, Managing Director of The Reach Campaign, says: “The UAE has been committed to eliminating these preventable NTDs for over 30 years. In 1990, the UAE’s late founding father, Sheikh Zayed, made a personal donation to The Carter Center’s efforts to eradicate the NTD Guinea worm disease and began a decades-long commitment by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family to disease eradication, which continues today through the philanthropic commitments of Sheikh Mohamed. We are incredibly proud to be honouring this commitment by launching the ‘50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign in the lead up to the UAE’s 50th anniversary, as we uphold our deeply embedded values of giving and collective sense of responsibility to help those in need.

“The impact of these two diseases goes well beyond the individual. When adults suffer from river blindness or lymphatic filariasis, children are often taken out of school to support their care, with girls disproportionately bearing the caretaking burden. Countries that eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis can secure a brighter future for their people, while also realising significant economic benefits that catalyse growth.

“Just Dh2 can protect someone from these diseases for an entire year and as we celebrate our good fortune during our Golden Jubilee, it is crucial to remember those less fortunate.”

Ellen Agler, CEO of The END Fund, says: “Although the end of NTDs is possible within our lifetime, reaching the last mile will only happen with the support of a wide range of partners and innovative new collaborations, like those forged by the Reach Campaign. We are excited to partner with Reach on the 50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives campaign to deliver even more impact through the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, and we remain incredibly grateful to Sheikh Mohamed and the leadership of the UAE for their unwavering commitment to eliminating NTDs.”

Want to visit the Expo 2020 Dubai? Here are all your visa options

Dubai: Excited about Expo 2020 Dubai and looking forward to visiting the UAE? If you are unfamiliar with the visa requirements in the UAE and the processes that you need to follow, here is our detailed guide on all the visa options available to visitors if they wish to visit the UAE.

Do I need a visa to enter Dubai?

Whether you need a visa or not is dependent on your country of citizenship. While citizens of some countries have the option for a visa on arrival, you may need to apply for a visa before you enter the UAE in some other situations.

What is the validity period of my visa?

All visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issue until entry to the UAE, except the 48-hour and 96-hour Transit Visa, which is valid for 30 days.

What should I check before travelling to Dubai?

You would need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months at the time of entry. You may also require a prearranged visa depending on your nationality.

Can I get a visa on arrival?

Citizens of more than 50 countries do not require a pre-arranged visa to enter Dubai. As per the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, citizens of GCC countries and citizens of the following countries can get a visa on arrival:

1. Australia

2. Austria

3. Belgium

4. Brunei

5. Bulgaria

6. Canada

7. China

8. Croatia

9. Cyprus

10. Czech Republic

11. Denmark

12. Estonia

13. Finland

14. France

15. Germany

16. Greece

17. Hong Kong

18. Hungary

19. Iceland

20. Ireland

21. Italy

22. Japan

23. Latvia

24. Liechtenstein

25. Lithuania

26. Luxembourg

27. Malaysia

28. Malta

29. Monaco

30. Netherlands

31. New Zealand

32. Norway

33. Poland

34. Portugal

35. Russia

36. Romania

37. San Marino

38. Singapore

39. Slovakia

40. Slovenia

41. South Korea

42. Spain

43. Sweden

44. Switzerland

45. The Vatican

46. United Kingdom

47. United States of America

Indian citizens

Some Indian citizens may also be eligible for a visa on arrival. These include Indian citizens holding a normal passport and either:

• a visit visa issued by the USA or

• a green card issued by the USA or

• a residence visa issued by the UK or

• a residence visa issued by the EU

In such cases, you can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days, provided that the visa or the green card is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival into the UAE.

If you are not eligible for a visa on arrival, here are all the other visa options you can avail of:

1. Tourist visa – 30-day or 90-day

Tourist visas can be obtained by tourists from around the world. Depending on your plan, tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30-days or 90-day durations, and allow single entry or multiple entries.

Who can apply for your tourist visa?

1. Airlines

Each airline has some conditions, which must be met in order for your visa to be arranged by them. One of the conditions is flying with them. When booking your ticket, you can also enquire about applying for a visit visa.

2. Tourist visas through agencies and hotels

Licensed travel agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you, provided you purchase the ticket through them and maintain a hotel reservation with the specific hotel.

You can also contact travel agencies in your country for any tourist packages available to the UAE in collaboration with a local tour operator.

3. Through UAE-based family and friends

As per the VisitDubai website, UAE residents (friends or relatives) can apply on your behalf subject to guidelines.

How can I extend the visa?

While the first time you apply for a visit visa you may not be inside the UAE, when extending the visa for another period of 30 or 90 days, you would need to apply for an ‘inside country visa change’, according to Sirajudeen Ummer, a Public Relations Officer with Dubai-based First Gate Business Services.

“The visa can be extended by providing the necessary documents and making the fee payment,” he said.

Documents required for processing inside the country visa change

• Passport copy (which should be valid for at least six months)

• Passport size photograph

• Old visa tourist/cancelled visa copy

• On arrival nationalities would only require Passport copy and photograph if they have entered UAE using on-arrival facility.

• If the visa was applied for by a relative or friend, they may need to submit a copy of their residence visa page and UID number.


Visas can cost approximately Dh320 for a one-month visa and Dh720 for a three month visa. However, as per Ummer, the cost may vary slightly based on the travel agency’s service charges.

You can apply for the second renewal before the expiry of the first one against Dh600 each time of renewal.

2. Transit visa – for 48 to 96 hours

This type of a visa, which is available for all passport holders, from 48 to 96 hours, is ideal for a short stopover in the UAE.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai took to its social media channels recently to inform passengers of how they can apply for a 96-hour transit visa – or an entry permit – when they arrive in the UAE.

Service requirements

To be able to get a transit visa issued at the immigration counter, you would need to present the following:

• Original passport

• An airline ticket showing the continuation of your journey, where the connecting flight should not be less than eight hours after you land in the UAE and not exceeding 96 hours and the destination of arrival and departure are not similar.

• Present a valid hotel reservation in UAE.

Service procedures

To apply for a transit visa, follow these steps:

• Visiting the airline company.

• Submit a request to issue a 96-hour entry permit with the airline’s service officer.

• If the request is approved, you will receive an approval of the request.

• Approach the passport officer at the immigration counter and complete the procedure.

Who needs a transit visa?

As per the UAE government’s official website – – if you are not one of the nationalities that are eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE, then you need a transit visa.

Who can apply for your transit visa?

UAE based-airlines you are travelling with can arrange your transit visa prior to your journey. If your trip is through a travel agency, the agency can also help you get the visa, but all visas are routed through the airline.

“The Transit Visa is a non-extendable single entry visa, valid for 30 days from the date of issue and the duration of stay is up to 96 hours (four days) from the time of entry. Transit passengers stopping at Dubai International Airport for a minimum of eight hours are eligible for a 96-hour Transit Visa,” Shafiq Muhammad, Public Relations Officer with Muhaisnah Documents Clearing Services in Dubai told Gulf News.

“Such a visa is preferred by passengers having business meetings or taking a stopover en route to their next destination,” he added.

3. Long-term, multiple entry tourist visa for five years

In case you are looking to visit the UAE regularly over the next few years, a new visa option has opened up for tourists. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has provided details of the five-year multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities through the authority’s website.

Is a UAE-based sponsor required for the visa?

According to the details provided when the visa was announced, the visa does not require a UAE-based individual or organisation to sponsor the visa. Tourists can apply for the visa on self-sponsorship.

What is the maximum duration of stay on the visa?

As per the announcement, a tourist can stay for 90 days on each visit. This can be extended for another 90 days.

Up until now, tourists could only get visas for 30-day or 90-day durations.

How to apply for the five-year tourist visa

Step 1: Log on to the ICA website –

Step 2: Select ‘E-channel Services’ from the main module on the website.

Step 3: Select ‘Public services’.

Step 4: Select the service ‘Visa – multi-trip / tourist long-term (5 years) for all nationalities / visa issuance’

Step 5: Fill in the application form with your personal details as well as your passport details.

Step 6: Attach the following documents:

• Coloured photograph

• Passport Copy

• Medical Insurance copy

• Bank statement for the last six months with a balance of at least $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies in the last six months.

Step 7: Review your application.

Step 8: Make the payment for the fees. The application fee is Dh650.

Note: It is also important to check the PCR test and vaccination requirements before you book a ticket, after you have received a visa to travel to the UAE.

Dubai: 130 wasl units gone in just 45 minutes

Dubai’s real estate is back in the lime-light with investors from across the globe flocking to the market, as economic sentiments continue to improve following the successful handling of the pandemic and vaccination drive.

Taking advantage of the positive trend and mood of the investors, wasl properties has leased out 130 units across its residential portfolio in Dubai in just 45 minutes as part of its promotional drive which coincides with the inauguration of Expo 2020.

Last year, wasl set the previous record by leasing 126 units in six hours.

The wasl leasing campaign, which runs until the end of October, includes 2,000 units from its residential portfolio across Dubai, 300 of which were leased on the first day.

It reflects the growing confidence of customers in the company’s projects, plans, and offers. The campaign witnessed a high turnout of families from other emirates, with two- and three-bedroom units being the most in demand on the first day of the campaign.

One-year lease agreements will entail a Dh5,000 discount with 12 monthly installments, zero per cent commission fees and security deposits, as well as a one-month grace period. Moreover, a two-year lease contract will entail the same offer but with 24 monthly instalments, and a three-month grace period.