The move has been announced in a bid to boost tourism…

Travellers from 48 nations worldwide will be able to obtain a free one-month visa when visiting Sri Lanka from Thursday August 1. The move has been announced in a bid to boost tourism to Sri Lanka, and will last for six months.

Tourists will be able to get their free visa for Sri Lanka either online ahead of time, or upon arrival. Previously, most tourists would have to pay $35 (Dhs129) for a one-month Sri Lankan visa, while the cost for visitors from South Asia was $20 (Dhs73).

Visitors from almost 50 countries will now be able to take advantage of the free visas, including those from the UK, America, Australia, New Zealand and across Europe.

According to local government data, visitors to Sri Lanka dropped by 45 per cent in July 2019, compared to figures from July 2018.


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In 2018, Sri Lanka was voted the top destination to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. “Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness,” Lonely Planet wrote at the time of announcement.

Just shy of a four and a half hour flight from Dubai, Sri Lanka, referred to as the teardrop of India, became a favourable travel destination thanks to its plentiful wildlife, lush greenery and beautiful beaches.

Sri Lanka joins a growing number of destinations around the world that offer visa-free or visas on arrival for UAE residents, which already include places such as Georgia, Maldives and Jordan.

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Images: Getty