Visa processes across the world often face criticism, with many nationalities facing challenges in acquiring e-visas and visas on arrival, often resulting in lengthy processing times and trips to the local embassy. However, times are changing, and visas are becoming fairer. As a sign of positive things to come, Japan was the latest country to ease visa regulations on UAE and Saudi Arabia travellers, and is one of the latest visa-on-arrival destinations for UAE residents.
UAE and Saudi residents can apply for an e-visa which is all done online, meaning no embassy visits, printouts, or lengthy wait times. The new e-visa regulations allow UAE residents from all nationalities to journey to the Land of the Rising Sun for up to 90 days. The e-visa costs AED80, AED20 for Indian nationals and is free to nationals of 61 countries, including the UK, US, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Pakistan, Germany, Spain and Ukraine.
Top sights like the vibrant capital Tokyo, cultural and historical hotspot Kyoto and foodie paradise Osaka, along with ski destinations Hokkaido and Niseko and myriad tropical islands. The ease in restrictions follows the announcement in November 2022 that Emiratis can visit Japan visa-free.
Japan became the latest country to offer visa on arrival for UAE residents in April 2023, with 15 other destinations across the world also offering a simplified visa process for travelling residents, enjoying their vacation or one of the region’s many public holidays. Many countries are popular tourist destinations from the UAE, such as Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles, while others are emerging as up-and-coming tourism markets, like Montenegro, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Perfect for a leisurely trip away or the next long weekend, most of the 15 countries offering visa-on-arrival for UAE residents are a short-haul flight from the UAE. What’s more, UAE-based airlines like Dubai’s national carrier Emirates, flagship carrier Etihad and budget carriers like Flydubai and Wizz Air offer affordable direct flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to most destinations providing visa on arrival, like Male, Maldives; Tbilisi, Georgia; Mahe, Seychelles; destinations across Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore and Port Louis, Mauritius.
Countries offering visa-on-arrival for UAE residents
- Sri Lanka