In comparison to the same period last year, Dubai saw a 63% increase in the issuing of resident visas in the first half of this year.
The number was revealed at a press conference where information on the upcoming “International Conference on Policymaking: The Future of Ports,” which will take place on September 19 and 20 in Dubai, was shared.
Brigadier Khalaf Al Ghaith, assistant director-general of the follow-up sector for violators and foreigners at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), said at a press conference that Dubai had seen a 52% increase in the number of Golden Visas issued in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
Additionally, the GDRFA-Dubai saw an increase in visit visas of 34% and an increase in tourist visas of 21%.
Brig Al Ghaith stated that the GDRFA-Dubai handled 11,319,991 transactions, including those for resident permits and entry and departure transactions through air, land, and seaports, as Dubai recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022.
The upcoming conference on the future of ports, which will take place at Madinat Jumeirah, will bring together 23 international leaders, policymakers, researchers, and experts from the UAE, Europe, the USA, and Asia to foster dialogues on cutting-edge practices in border management, immigration, and residency, according to officials.
Participants will have the fantastic chance to observe the best worldwide practices in border crossing management and take part in constructive discussions covering several industries on both a local and international level.
Pressure on capacity
In addition to important international concerns relating to immigration and residency, the forum will also cover how to build proactive policies to successfully traverse upcoming obstacles, highlighting standards relevant to both the UAE and the larger Middle East region.
Discussions on changing travel preferences, industry technical developments, and the continuous difficulty of handling growing passenger numbers will also be facilitated by the conference.
The discussions will also center on identifying creative solutions to deal with the massive numbers—which are anticipated to reach 19 billion passengers globally in 2040—as well as the capacity of the aviation industry, as well as the readiness and equipment of airlines and airports.
It will also cover the future of travel documents, their conversion to electronic documents, and how Big Data may be used to improve flexibility, speed, and comfort of travel.
Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General, Major General Talal Ahmed Al Shanqiti, Assistant General Director of the Airport Passport Affairs Sector, Major General Dr. Ali Al Zaabi, Assistant Director General, and Dr. Hanan Al Marzooqi, Director of Governance and Compliance, were all in attendance at the press conference for the GDRFA-Dubai.
Up to 42 million passengers, of which 26 million were arrivals and departures, utilized Dubai International Airport in the first half of this year, according to Maj Gen Al Shantaqi. The remaining passengers were in transit.
Officials are trying to fully implement biometrics at the airport in the future, he continued. Smart gates have been used by 42% of travelers thus far this year. In the near future, more smart gates will be installed.
“We want Dubai airports to be the easiest and smoothest airport in the world with these smart counters,” Maj Gen Al Shantaqi said.