Dubai ready for tourist rush, Al Merri says

Dubai: Dubai is bracing itself for a significant increase in the number of passengers and tourists by enhancing the capabilities of 25 external centres operating under the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of (GDRFA) said there were indications that the number of visas and applications to be processed by the department would increase drastically in the coming months and GDRFA was ready for it.

Increase in applications

“So far, the number of applications handled and processed by the department has increased 50 per cent this year compared to the same period of the previous year, and the trend is growing steadily. Most of the applications are being handled by external centres, a great shift from the traditional centralised operation,” he said.

Al Merri said the staff of the external centres was bearing much of the load as a result of the rising number of applications.

“We used to process all the applications through the main headquarters of the GDRFA. Now, external centres are processing nearly 50 per cent,” he said.

He attributed the smiles on the faces of both employees and customers of the GDRFA as the motivation behind the achievements of the department. Last year, he said, 27 million passengers who travelled through Dubai International Airport were handled by the GDRFA staff who were given proper training and authority to give visitors the right impression about Dubai and the UAE.