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Visa Changes and Airfare Surcharge in Travel Industry

Overview of Visa Changes

Travel industry experts have revealed that visitors choosing the airport-to-airport status change service to extend their visas will now encounter a surcharge of up to 20%. This increase in airfare, approximately Dh125, is a result of both airline price adjustments and a rise in demand as visitors opt to remain in the country during colder months.

  • Swift Visa Modifications via Airport Routes: The airport-to-airport visa change option enables visitors to efficiently acquire a new tourist visa by traveling to the nearest country, eliminating the need to return to their home country. This process, whether completed on the same day or involving an overnight stay, typically takes around four hours for same-day procedures.
  • Shift in Visa Landscape: Demand for 60-Day Visas: With the discontinuation of the 90-day visa option in the last quarter of 2023, there has been a notable surge in demand for 60-day visas among visitors. The starting price for a 60-day visa has increased from Dh1,300 to Dh1,500, with costs generally lower for those booking a month in advance.

Regulatory Adjustments and Fluctuations

Regulatory Changes and Temporary Adjustments: In December 2022, the UAE suspended the option for visit visa holders to extend their stay permits from within the country, requiring an exit before returning on a new visa. While this rule had always been in place, the regulations were temporarily altered during the Covid-19 lockdown for humanitarian reasons.

  • Fluctuations in Visa Costs: The cost for a 30-day visa change by air has also experienced an increase, rising from Dh1,200 to Dh1,300 for starting rates. The demand for extending the 60-day visa is particularly high, with quotas frequently sold out, leading to challenges in securing seats, according to industry experts.
  • Extended Stays and Weather Preferences: The rise in demand for longer-duration visas is noticeable among senior citizens who prefer extended stays to enjoy the pleasant weather. Residents are utilizing the favorable climate to invite their parents and relatives for extended periods, further contributing to the heightened demand for airport-to-airport visa changes.

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