A quick and easy getaway…

Keen to go for a long weekend somewhere, but hold a passport that makes it hard to just hop to a destination without pre-planning? Well, here are some countries you can visit.

UAE residents from South Africa, India, Lebanon and more will be used to the struggle to get a visa when wanting to visit a country. But, thankfully, some nearby spots allow those with UAE residency visas to bypass typical visa regulations and get a visa on arrival.

*Please note: This information was correct at the time of publishing, but visa requirements are subject to change and caveats so please check with your travel expert or the destination’s embassy/consulate before you commit to travel plans…

Here are 8 countries that allow UAE residents visas on arrival/eVisas/or visa-free travel.

KENYA

visa free Kenya

As part of a bid to boost their already bouyant tourism industry, this stuning East African country recently opened up its borders by dropping its visa requirements. You’ll still have to apply for an ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ ahead of time (though many online sites claim to offer the service, there is only one official website that can process the service for you, etakenya.go.ke), but the whole process has been dramatically streamlined and is open to almost all travellers (including UAE residents). What to see when you get there? The Masi Mara is amongst the best spaces on the planet to watch David Attenborough-flavoured moments like the Great Migration (July to October) and ticking off ‘The Big Five’, to see perilously endangered species such as the white rhino, and experience some of nature’s most beguiling predators live beyond the bars of a zoo. Plus with some gorgeous beach destinations along the coast (for example, Mombassa), you can twin your safari adventure with a bit of chill time too.

Get there direct with: Emirates, Kenya Airways

ARMENIA

Armenia

Armenia has a special visa-waiver programme for Indian nationals with a UAE residency visa. Indians normally can only enter Armenia as diplomats or with an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, if they have a UAE residency visa they will get a visit visa on arrival thanks to an agreement with the UAE. A short-stay visa on arrival will cost around Dhs20 according to reports. Do note, your passport should be valid for at least six months.

Meanwhile, Lebanese, Jordanian and South African nationals will get a visa on arrival (as will UAE citizens). Some of those who won’t? Pakistani, Syrian, Saudi, Nepali, Sri Lankan and all other African nationalities (among others).

Get there direct with: Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Arabia

GEORGIA

GEORGIA

While there is no Georgian consulate that you can phone in the UAE, multiple airlines and travel companies told us that all people with a UAE residency visa can enter this burgeoning tourist spot for 90 days without a visa. You will just have to show your valid residence visa upon arrival.

Here are the full details from the usually reliable Visa HQ: “Holders of valid visa or residence permit of UAE are exempted from visa requirements. You can enter Georgia without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period. Please, note that you must present a relevant valid visa or residence permit along with your travel document/passport at the moment of crossing Georgian border.” Read our travel review on Kutaisi, Georgia here.

Get there direct with: Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Arabia

AZERBAIJAN

AZERBAIJAN

If you have a UAE residence visa and you’re travelling to this oil-rich nation you can get a visa on arrival.

All you need to do is present your passport with a valid UAE residency visa at the airport and you’ll be entitled to stay for a period of 30 days. If you plan to stay in the country for more than 15 days, however, you’ll need to register at the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan – your hotel should be able to help you out with this when you arrive.

Get there direct with: Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Arabia, Wizz Air

MONTENEGRO

Montenegro

This beautiful country altered its laws to allow UAE citizens entry without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in the period of six months, counting from the date of first entry. UAE residents are also offered a visa on arrival for a fee. The benefit for us is that we are exempt from paying the online visa fees as we do not have to show any documentation. Read our travel review here.

Get there direct with: currently no direct flights

MALDIVES

MALDIVES

Maldives is a stunning island country that gives tourists of all nationalities a 30-day visa on arrival at no added cost. A foreigner travelling to Maldives as a tourist does not require pre-approval for the visa. However, the person must satisfy the basic entry requirements to get immigration clearance upon arrival. This includes a valid passport, a return/onward ticket, pre-paid accommodation and sufficient funds to cover each day.

Get there direct with: Emirates, FlyDubai, Wizz Air, Beond Airline

SEYCHELLES

SEYCHELLES

Much like the Maldives, this island also has no entry requirements – a visa is issued on arrival so long as the person holds a valid return ticket to their place of origin. The person must fulfil some simple entry needs to get immigration clearance upon arrival. You must have proof of pre-paid accommodation and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay (a minimum of Dhs550). No one is permitted to enter into or exit from Seychelles except with the written authorization of the Ministry of Health.

Get there direct with: Emirates

NEPAL

NEPAL

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Nepal provides visa on arrival to most nationalities for a small sum. There are three options, a 15-day visa for Dhs110, a 30-day one for Dhs190 or a 90-day permit for Dhs460. Indian passport holders do not require any kind of visa (provided that they prove their nationality). The visas bear multiple re-entry facilities.

Get there direct with: Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Arabia, Himalaya Airlines

Any other options?

These are the only ones we can find that make exemptions just for UAE residents, but there are many spots that allow visa-free travel for many of the nationalities living in the UAE.

These include Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mauritius, most of South America and Sri Lanka (again, check based on your specific nationality, but you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised).

*Please note: This information was all correct at the time of publishing, but visa law is subject to change, and quickly, so check with your travel expert or the consulate before you commit to travel plans…

Images: Unsplash