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UAE's A2A Visa Extension Now Pricier, Travel Experts Confirm 20% Increase



Visitors to the UAE looking to extend their stay through the airport-to-airport (A2A) visa change service will now face higher costs, travel industry experts report. According to Khaleej Times, this increase is up to 20% more than previous rates.

Shihab Parwad, Managing Director of Rehan Al Jazeera Tourism, attributes this rise to a hike in airfares by approximately Dh125 and a surge in demand, particularly during the cooler months. “The airline used by visitors for this service has raised their prices. Additionally, the increasing number of visitors wanting to stay longer contributes to the cost,” Parwad explained.


Understanding A2A Visa Changes


The A2A visa change service offers a swift solution for visitors to renew their tourist visas. This process involves flying to a nearby country instead of returning to the applicant's home nation. Visitors have the option to complete this in a single day or stay overnight in the neighboring country.


New Pricing Structure


Libin Varghese, Head of Operations and Sales at Rooh Travel and Tourism LLC, noted that the cost for a 60-day visa now starts at Dh1,500, up from Dh1,300. The increase follows the cancellation of the 90-day visa option by authorities in late 2023, fueling demand for 60-day visas. Varghese also mentioned that advanced booking, ideally a month prior, can reduce costs.


Background of Visa Policy Changes


In December 2022, the UAE discontinued its policy allowing visit visa holders to extend their permits within the country. This policy had been temporarily altered during the Covid-19 pandemic on humanitarian grounds, allowing in-country visa extensions. The reinstatement of the original rule now necessitates visitors to exit and re-enter on a new visa.


Rising Prices Across the Board


The industry has also seen an increase in the price for a 30-day visa change, now starting from Dh1,300, up from Dh1,200. Parwad mentioned the high demand for extending 60-day visas, often leading to a fully booked quota and difficulty in securing seats.


Why the Demand?


The demand spike for longer-duration visas is particularly notable among senior citizens, who prefer not to travel frequently. “Pleasant weather conditions have led many residents to invite their parents and relatives for extended stays, significantly contributing to the demand for A2A visa changes,” said Varghese, highlighting the impact of seasonal preferences on visa services.


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