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Emirates passengers may apply online for 96-hour and 30-day entry visas to Dubai through its website, a move analysts say will give UAE tourism a significant boost, according to Gulf News.com.

The visa applications will be an extension of the online flight booking process on Emirates.com and can be accessed by Emirates ticket holders in 35 countries, the airline was quoted as saying.

Emirates divisional senior vice president of commercial operations worldwide Richard Vaughan says Emirates is advancing travel convenience by allowing its customers to apply, purchase and track their UAE visa online — another initiative in a series of self-service tools that offer more convenience and control to passengers.

The entry visas are available subject to passengers meeting all pre-requisites stipulated by the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

A 96-hour visa will cost US$44 (NZ$62) and a 30-day visa will cost $57 and service fees will be applied separately, according to the report.

Once the application is approved the visas will be delivered via e-mail within four international working days.

Statistics from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing show that last year Dubai saw 7.58 million visitors, a growth of 1%. The numbers in the first quarter this year improved slightly on a yearly basis.

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