A wave of changes to the UAE visa system come into effect today.
Officials made a series of new laws in a bid to improve the quality of life for both residents of the country and visitors.
They include the ability to extend visit visas by 30-day periods twice, making it easier for jobseekers to find employment without having to leave the country.
Before today, visitors had to exit the UAE after their three-month visit or one-month tourist visa expired.
Renewal costs Dhs600 each time, while those who overstay face fines of Dhs100 per day.
The changes also include a new one-year extension for widows or divorced women and their children.
Previously, they had to leave the country after the drastic change in their circumstances.
Applications cost Dhs100 and should include divorce or widowhood certificates, tenancy contracts, medical fitness certificates, Emirates ID cards, insurance and income certificates.
While there is also good news for academics in the new system.
One-year visas are available to students who have completed their university studies or Grade 12 at a cost of Dhs100.
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said: “The new system now allows people on visit or tourist visas to extend their stay in the UAE for 30 days, for two times, after expiration of the entry permits.
“The extension of visas for visitors without exiting the country will help job-seekers get more time to find jobs and will spare them from the travel burden and other expenses as it has been the case.”
For more information, check out the Government's website here.
While you're here, why not check out this week's Time Out Abu Dhabi vlog, where we try our hands at horse riding. Watch below and you can win your own private lesson.