The 13 countries that come under the new exemption list include Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

With citizens of 15 other European Union member states already being exempted, the announcement means that all citizens of EU countries holding an ordinary passport will be allowed to enter UAE without a pre-entry visa.

The decision is likely to come into effect from March 22. The move comes days after European Union Parliament exempted citizens from UAE from requiring a pre-entry visa to EU's 28 member states.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), called the move ‘a very positive announcement’.

"As we work toward our target of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020, DTCM will continue to work with partners in the government and the private sector to ensure that Dubai's destination offering is continually enhanced," Almarri added.


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