* Becomes local sponsor for Sri Lankan
travellers * Opens Dubai Visa Processing Centre in its Colombo
Dubai, 19th July 2005 - Emirates, one of the
world’s fastest growing airlines, has simplified visa procedures
for Sri Lankans travelling to or transiting through Dubai by
launching the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) at its Colombo
With the opening of the processing centre, Sri
Lankan travellers flying on Emirates from Colombo to Dubai or
points beyond can obtain a Visit Visa (60 days) or Transit Visa
(96 hours) with Emirates as their sponsor. This significantly
reduces the visa processing time as travellers are no longer
required to locate a U.A.E based sponsor.
An electronic visa is granted to the applicants
in three or less days, subject to passengers meeting the
required eligibility criteria and all documentation being in
order. The new centre is located at Hemas House, 75 Braybrooke
Place, Colombo 2.
Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial
Operations West Asia & Indian Ocean, Nabil Sultan said: "Dubai
has become an increasingly popular destination for Sri Lankans
who visit the emirate either on business or holiday; or as a
stopover destination when travelling to America and Europe. We
can now expect a larger number of Sri Lankan visitors with the
Emirates assistance in visa processing."
Nabil said: "Simplified visa procedures were
first launched in India in October 2002. The overwhelming
response it generated there prompted us to launch the processing
centre in Sri Lanka. We hope to extend this facility to other
countries within the Indian sub-continent, which we serve with
101 weekly flights."
`A0Over the past years, Dubai has witnessed an
increasing number of visitors from Sri Lanka. In 2004, 146,691
travellers from Colombo arrived at the Dubai International
Airport. The total number of Sri Lankan guests at Dubai hotels
registered a growth of seven per cent in 2004 vis-`E0-vis last
`A0"The launch of the new centre is one in a
series of value-added services from Emirates to ensure our
passengers have a hassle-free experience", added Emirates Sri
Lanka Area Manager, Tissa Bibile. "At the centre, applicants
will receive guidance and counseling so that proper
documentation and faster turnaround time can be guaranteed."
A.G. Faridi, Head Dubai Visa Processing Centre
commented: "Travelling to Dubai - Middle East’s fastest growing
business and leisure hub - will definitely become easier for
scores of Sri Lankans as they no longer need to locate a sponsor
in the U.A.E. Also with visas being granted electronically,
passengers are no longer required to queue up at the Visa
Delivery Counter in Dubai International Airport upon their
arrival; instead they can proceed directly to Immigration."
Operated by VFS, part of the Kuoni Travel Group,
the Dubai Visa Processing Centre accepts Visit and Transit visa
applications from leisure travellers, business travellers and
passengers visiting relatives and friends.
Travellers can submit their visa application
forms along with original documents at the centre. The
information collected is processed by the centre and forwarded
to Dubai Immigration authorities which take the decision whether
or not to grant the visa. If the application meets the
eligibility criteria, the visa is electronically uploaded on the
PNR on the passenger’s ticket.
The winner of more than 270 major international
awards, Emirates operates 13 flights a week from Dubai to
Colombo. From 1st October, the airline’s schedule will be
expanded to 18 services a week.
Note:`A0`A0 Dubai Visa Processing Centre does
not accept employment visa applications The facility is only
available to passengers flying with Emirates Airline to Dubai
and points beyond.