The chief executive of Dubai Duty Free believes that several new nationalities will be granted visa-on-arrival status in the UAE ahead of 2020 (the year in which Expo kicks in), which would positively impact his business.
Speaking to Gulf News at the company’s 34th anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Colm McLoughlin said that he thought “there will be a lot of it [visas] in preparation for 2020.”
He said he expected Indians to receive visas on arrival at some point, adding that it would be “terrific” for Dubai Duty Free’s business.
Around 38 nationalities are currently able to enter the UAE without a visa, while a further 18 are able to obtain a free UAE visa on arrival, as stated on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Most recently, the UAE granted visas on arrival to Chinese and Russian visitors, in an effort to boost tourism and trade, as visitor numbers from once reliable markets such as Russia have declined sharply in recent years.
Dubai Duty Free is currently celebrating its anniversary with 25 per cent discounts across Dubai’s two airports.
The group anticipates it will bring in just short of Dh7 billion in total sales in 2017.
Dubai Duty Free is currently expanding its operations at Al Maktoum International, which it hopes will one day account for a large portion of its sales.
The airport retailer currently has 2,500 square metres of retail space, which they anticipate will increase to 4,000 square metres a “few weeks from now.”
On expanding, the chief executive said that Dubai Duty Free had rebuffed several advances from international airports.