Gone are the days when only an Emirates flight could get you easy entry into Dubai. Book the cheapest flight and save some bucks!
UPDATE: We are thankful to DVPC for the prompt action and helping out and resolving the issue at the earliest.
Glitzy Dubai is indeed a hot vacation spot. Complete with high-rise buildings, sprawling shopping malls and desert safaris, Dubai is the bridge between the East and the West.
From shopping to desert safaris, from luxury to cultural tours, from malls to mosques; the city has everything on the platter. Dubai is a tourist’s delight with ample options for vegetarians, those looking for Halal tourism, a very safe place for women to travel alone and of course multitude of hotel options.
While it offers visa on arrival for many nations, obtaining visa is not a herculean task. While most countries need sponsors, the United Arab Emirates allowed its state-run Emirates airlines (based out of Dubai), to allow passengers to apply for visa through its website. While Emirates is one of the expensive airlines to fly to Dubai, ease of Visa was what made them really popular among travellers.
Guess what, not anymore.
Our personal experience with Emirates visa process has been quite stressful. Despite having applied on time using the Emirates online visa with all the requisite documents, one of our regular contributor has not been able to get her visa to Dubai on time. Well, delays are a part of the visa process, which is acceptable, however, when despite regular follow ups, one is sent from pillar (Emirates) to post (Dubai Visa Processing Centre), it is a colossal waste of time, energy and resources. What more, we are informed that if you apply online on Emirates website, the DVPC customer care will not be able to help. It has been over 15 days now and there has been no update on the visa.
Just to check if this is a stand alone case or are there other such cases as well. We checked online and there are multiple cases where passengers who booked on Emirates, spent that extra bit and ended up wasting more money on making calls to Emirates apart from putting their patience to test.
We have figured out that there are may ways of applying for a Dubai visa without having to shell out a lot buying a ticket on Emirates. You have options in the form of Etihad airlines and even they can help you get a visa. The only inconvenience could be that they will land you in Abu Dhabi and ferry you to the Dubai international airport in a luxury bus. But who cares if you love to travel and you would have seen the countryside already! You can also book Oman Air or Gulf Airlines or any other local airlines of your country and apply for a visa according to the guidelines of the said airlines. One could also book tickets from aggregators such as Booking.com, MakemyTrip.com, SkyScanner.com and request for visa services. While they might charge a convenience fee, it might just be worth it instead of applying online on an Emirates website and then waiting for the visa to arrive.
Just that you need to factor in the fact that most offices in the UAE do not work on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday is the first working day.
So, happy travelling and happy saving!