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Dubai issued more than 12m visas in 2014

posted on 05/02/2015: 4435 views

More than 12 million visas were issued in 2014, out of which 5.14 million were tourist visas, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of Dubai (GDRFA) revealed on Wednesday.

"Statistics show there has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of visas issued,” Major General Mohammed Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, said. "This year, a total of 12.77 million visas were issued, of which 5.14 million were tourist visas and 456,708 visas were issued on arrival.”

Maj Gen Al Merri said the GDRFA dealt with a total of 61.40 million transactions in 2014, an increase of 7 per cent compared with 2013.

There has been a 7 per cent rise in the number of people travelling through all Dubai ports. "A total of 43.48 million passengers travelled through the entry and exit points in Dubai. The numbers show a seven per cent increase when compared to the 40.53 million passengers that travelled to and from Dubai in 2013.”

The numbers are expected to further increase next year, Maj Gen Al Merri said.

"We are predicting the numbers to increase over the next few years,” he said. "We are taking all the necessary measures to deal with the influx. Our staff members are undergoing special training and our facilities are being kept up-to-date with the latest technology. We are exercising all efforts to ensure we offer the best of services to the public.”

Ease of travel

Smart Gates at Dubai Airports are easing the travel process, Maj Gen Al Merri said. Nearly 7 million passengers have already registered for the service.

"The Smart Gate services help speed up travellers' movements through passport control,” Maj Gen Al Merri said, "It now takes an average of 15 seconds to finalise all the procedures related to passport control. The Smart Gate service was specifically designed to avoid wasting time while entering or exiting the airport.”

Dubai sea ports

Ship arrivals and departures at Dubai sea ports increased by 14 per cent, the GDRFA revealed. Nearly 60,000 ships used Dubai's sea ports.

"Over 85,000 tourists arrived to Dubai via its sea ports in 2014,” Maj Gen Al Merri said.

Foreigners and Illegals Sector

Over 7,000 Illegals were arrested during 326 inspection campaigns in Dubai last year. "The Foreigners and Illegals Sector of the GDRFA-Dubai conducted a total number of 224,548 transactions. The number of sponsor complaints the GDRFA received in 2014, about matters such as employees leaving work, decreased by six per cent when compared with 2013.”

Maj Gen Al Merri said the decrease in sponsor complaints was attributed to the awareness messages the GDRFA spread via social media.

Maj Gen Al Merri also revealed "a total of 1,048 forged documents were seized at the airport in 2014”.

Amer service

The GDRFA's Amer Service, a toll-free platform to receive complaints, suggestions and inquiries, received a total of 33 complaints in 2014, a 15 per cent decline when compared with 2013.

"The number of incoming calls to our call centre ‘Hilal' in 2014 reached 768,309, which included calls made to Amer, our online chat, electronic services, emails, and answering machine.”

Maj Gen Al Merri urged the public to use the Amer service to reach the department. "Amer works round the clock. The public can reach us via the toll- free number 8005111, where they can give us their feedback or inquire about our services. We can also be reached via our social media channels including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on ‘GDRFADUBAI'.”

GDRFA employees

The number of GDRFA-Dubai employees reached 4,215 in 2014, out of which 17 are employees with special needs.

"Ninety-five per cent of our employees are Emiratis,” Maj Gen Al Merri said. "Our employees are all given considerable attention and training. We help if they wish to pursue their education, either locally or abroad. At the moment, there are eight staff members who are studying abroad and 12 studying in the country.” – Gulf News -


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