Now, Emiratis can get visas to 28 countries at Abu Dhabi’s VFS centre
To get the visa of these 28 countries, residents are required to go to the center in person. These countries include Ukraine, UK, Turkey, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Slovakia, Malta, Norway, Malaysia, Italy, Latvia, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Canada, Belgium, Bulgaria, Belarus, Australia and Austria.
According to Vinay Malhotra, regional group COO for Middle East, South Asia and China at VFS Global, the previous centre positioned at Shining Tower in Al Khalidiya is not functional anymore.
Vinay Malhotra has said that they have moved all the operations to the new center. In the new center, there are 72 counters for application submission. It is interesting to note that the center is able to take more than 1,500 applicants each day. It means the center will process about 100,000 applications a year.
In fact, this center is a state of the art one integrating all the operations that were taking place in Abu Dhabi. Also, it should be said that the new center one of flagship centers of the firm around the world.
The center is situated at the Mall in the World Trade Center on the Khalifa Bin Zayed the First Street. The street is popularly named as the Airport Road.
The services offered by the center varies from personalised assistance to mobile biometric services and automated processing. As well as these, its services include chauffeur-driven drop-off and pick-up and also door delivery of passports. In addition, it should be noted that the center has also the provision to apply for visa from home.
About 150-170 staff members of the center are serving customers every day. However, in the pick season, the center will add 100 to 120 members.
The services of this center are divided into two types. In other words, as well as normal services, the center offers premium services. To be more precise, 24 counters in the center offer premium service to the customers.
Besides, the premium lounge serve all the 28 missions, except for Canada and Norway. The cost is something between Dh250 to Dh315 per person.
There is a special platinum lounge service including chauffeur service as well as personalized assistance to guide customers when completing the application form. In addition, it will help the customers pay the fees.
Countries that will get these services include Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Slovakia, Latvia, the UK and Ukraine. The cost of platinum longue is Dh1,200 for the UK and Dh600-650 for Schengen visa.
‘More residents are travelling’
The UAE Ambassador to India, Dr Ahmed Al Banna, is of the opinion that the new centre is the sign of the rapid pace that Abu Dhabi and the UAE are growing.
Emiratis and those who are living in Abu Dhabi are strongly interested in traveling abroad. The high volume of visa applications that VFS Global has taken in the recent years shows this.
The center also features a steel statue that belongs to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who is the UAE Founding Father.
In the last year, the Abu Dhabi center of VFS has formed more than 80,000 visa application.
Between January and June of 2019, the center has processed more than 65,800 visa applications that shows a growth of 13 percent. Actually, it is a significant number in comparison to the applications the center has received in 2018.
*The information in this article is based on the recent report of Khaleej Times Website.