It’s now easier and quicker for foreign residents in the United Arab Emirates to plan trips to Europe. Gulf News reported that European embassies in the UAE have opened up booking slots, with visas now being processed in less than two weeks, allowing travelers to make plans to visit Europe with ease.
Visa appointments from October to the end of December previously took up to one or two months to be processed, which often discouraged travelers. However, the new, shorter processing times are expected to spike in demand, especially during the Eid holidays in April.
Monaz Billimoria, Regional Head at VFS Global, recommends that UAE residents should book their visa processing appointments well in advance to avoid potential delays, especially during busy travel seasons.
Despite a 22% increase in travel expenses, Europe remains the top choice for UAE travelers in 2024, with travelers willing to pay premium prices for the best experiences. According to Kristi Gole, Executive Vice-President of Strategy at GHA, Europe is expected to have another strong year in 2024, with travel back on all fronts and every region thriving.
In addition to the streamlined visa process, airfares to various European cities have dropped to under €276. Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany are the main destinations for UAE travelers in April, with travel demand to Europe surging by 40-50% last year. The economy fares for the Dubai-Paris route have become more competitive, varying between €131 by Wizz Air and €248 by Emirates, compared to December’s cost of around €414.
Overall, it’s an exciting time for travelers from the UAE looking to explore Europe, with easier visa processing and cheaper airfares making it more accessible than ever.
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