Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was established in 1971 as an independent federation along with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah, with Ras Al Khaimah joining in 1972. Regarded as the commercial capital of the UAE, Dubai is the second largest of the seven emirates.
As the business hub of the Middle East, Dubai has continued to invest in strategic infrastructure and transportation projects to support the growing service sectors and ensure a stable economic future.
One of Dubai’s most significant achievements has been the attraction of foreign business and investment through world-class category-based free trade areas such as Jebel Ali Free Zone,
These have helped to position the city as a knowledge hub, where a combination of home grown and global talent is helping to further diversify the economy, bring in more investment from around the world, and nurture startups and entrepreneurial endeavours.
Dubai’s transformation into a global knowledge hub is backed by significant national legislative development and investment, including the UAE National Innovation Strategy, which has distributed more than Dhs300 billion investments across seven main sectors: Renewable energy, Transport, Education, Health, Technology, Water and Space.
The city’s evolution is set to come into sharp focus when it hosts the World Expo in 2020. Under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 is set to attract visitors from around the world and will provide a platform to foster creativity, innovation and partnership.
Dubai is one of the easiest cities in the world to get to. Its strategic location as a bridge between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia means that no less than one-third of the world’s population is within a four-hour flight away and two-thirds are within an eight-hour flight away. Over 280 cities on all six continents are now connected to Dubai by direct flights.
Since Dubai International Airport opened in 1960, passenger numbers have grown and grown – by an average of 15% a year. In 2016 the airport served 83.6 million people, flying them to more than 280 destinations across six continents, making it the world’s busiest for international passengers.
With this projected to approach 100 million passengers annually by the end of the decade, Dubai International is a dynamic and fast-growing airport that truly connects the world.
Dubai International’s world-class facilities include the world’s first and largest purpose-built A380 facility Concourse A, opened in 2013. The hub inaugurated Concourse D last year, boosting its capacity to 90 million passengers, while other recent developments have included the expansion of Terminal 2 and the complete refurbishment of Terminal 1.
Dubai International Airport is only four kilometres from the city centre and, thanks to the city’s well-developed infrastructure, transfer time to most hotels is seldom more than 10-15 minutes.
With the aim of reducing reliance on private motor vehicles and expanding travel options, Dubai has developed an ultramodern and inexpensive public integrated transport system.
The futuristic Dubai Metro System, opened in 2009, is the backbone of mass transit with 49 stations along its 75km stretch of routes, from Jebel Ali in the south-west, to Al Qusais in the north-east.
The Dubai Metro carries over 180 million passengers a year and provides a seamless connection across the city. Not only is it one of the most economical ways of getting around, but with most of the track well elevated above the roads, it also offers impressive views of the cityscape while commuting. Along its routes are Dubai International Airport, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall and over 25,000 hotel rooms.
All passengers travelling to the United Arab Emirates must be in possession of a passport, which must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the United Arab Emirates.
The kind of visa required for entry into the UAE depends on several different factors such as nationality, the purpose of the visit and its planned duration.
All delegates’ entry visas must be processed prior to arrival in the United Arab Emirates. The only exceptions are nationals of The Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) States and the following countries: Australia , Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and The Vatican.
For visitors whose country of nationality appears on the above list, no advance visa arrangements are required to visit the UAE. They are able to disembark their flight and proceed to Immigration, where their passport will be stamped with a 30-day visit visa free of charge. This can be extended for an additional 30 days at an extra charge.
Travellers from countries not listed above attending an exhibition or a conference will need to arrange a visa in advance of travel. All visas applied for are subject to the approval of the Immigration Authorities.