Japan eases travel with eVisas
Since the opening of the Dubai Office in November 2021, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has been conducting various promotional activities in the GCC market, including joint campaigns with various travel companies and airlines, tourism seminars in the UAE and engaging in consumer events.
Border measures have been gradually lifted since June last year, and travellers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test from May 8 onward.
UAE nationals are no longer required visas to visit Japan. The full visa waiver for Emirati nationals has been incredibly successful, and this is now supported by a number of additional new measures to ease travel for many living in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
All foreign nationals who would otherwise be required a visa to visit Japan and who reside in the UAE, and all Saudi nationals and foreign nationals residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are now able to simply apply online for a short-term stay visa for the purpose of tourism travel to Japan. When entering Japan immigration, the eVISA holder needs to simply log on to the Japan eVISA website and show visa.
Qatari nationals can now apply at Japanese Embassies, Consulate-Generals or Consulates, to have their passport registered. Upon registration, applicants will then receive a “Visa Waiver Registration” seal within their passport, which will entitle them to multiple short-term stays in Japan without a need for a visa for a period of three years (or expiration date of the passport).
Travel to Japan from GCC countries has been steadily increasing, making it one of the few international markets showing post-Covid recovery levels even surpassing the numbers of visitors achieved in 2019. With further resumption of the Japan routes by major airlines, I am confident that the upward demand for travelling to Japan will continue.
One destination that I would like to introduce is Ise-Shima region of Mie prefecture.
Home to Japan’s most sacred place, Ise Jingu, there is no doubt that Mie is one of the most spiritual places you can visit in Japan. The shrines, temples and traditional culture of Mie boast mythical scenery that conveys the charm of the four seasons. Within the tranquil mountains and by the sea, you’ll also find plenty of luxury accommodation for you and relax in Mie’s serene atmosphere; Amanemu, Oyado The Earth, Shima Kanko Hotel, to name a few.
The world’s first successfully cultured pearls were produced in the region by Kokichi Mikimoto in 1893. At Mikimoto Peral Island, visitors can learn how the pearls are farmed, and watch an “Ama” (traditional female diver) demonstration.
We have just renewed our luxury specific web page, and I would like you to discover what Japan offers in terms of luxury experiences.
* The writer is Executive Director of JNTO Dubai Office