The lack of a direct flight from India to Georgia has made the UAE a crucial transit hub for Indian tourists heading to the Caucasus country. The ease of obtaining e-Visas and multiple-entry permits for both countries also adds to the appeal, allowing Indians to experience two destinations in one package deal.

According to industry experts, the strategic position, first-class amenities, and outstanding connectivity of UAE airports have drawn many Indian tourists looking for more convenient trips to the scenic nation of Georgia and the Caucasian countries.

Experts say it becomes a double delight for tourists from India, as they spend three days in the UAE exploring the country. "The extended layovers have encouraged many Indian tourists to explore Dubai during their transit, contributing to the local tourism industry. One of the major contributing factors is the easier visa procedures for Indian nationals to the UAE," said Libin Varghese, sales director at Rooh Travel and Tourism LLC.

"Tourists either come on a multiple-entry, one-month visa or a single-entry one. They have a one-month visa which allows them to stay in the UAE for a significant amount of time to explore the Emirates," said Varghese.

e-Visa for Indians

In May 2023, the Georgian Embassy in India introduced the e-Visa service, enabling Indian citizens to apply for visas swiftly and efficiently.

Through the e-Visa option, applicants may fill out an online form and upload the required documents, which the Georgian Embassy will verify, and will be processed in five business days.

Agencies serving Georgia-India travel cater to approximately 30-50 passengers daily through the UAE for transit.

The most preferred activities for these travellers in Dubai are visiting Burj Khalifa, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai Frame, experiencing dune bashing, and glass slide, among many others, said industry experts.

Layover in Dubai

Subeesh U, from Kerala in India, recently travelled to Georgia via UAE, said, "I travelled with my family and friends. The total travel was not tiring at all as we had three days of layover in Dubai."

Subeesh paid nearly Rs100,000 (Dh4,486) per person for a 7-day trip to two countries. "It included our accommodation, flights, visas for the UAE and Georgia, and sightseeing," added Subeesh.

Industry experts said that currently, the airfare between Indian cities and UAE is high due to the summer holidays. Once the season ends, package costs may vary and may decrease to nearly Rs70,000 (Dh3,140).

"The increase in transit traffic between Georgia and India through the UAE can be attributed to the convenience and improved connection provided by the many airlines that fly between these locations and have direct connectivity from many Indian cities, said Subair Thekepurathvalappil, senior manager for inbound and outbound operations at Regal Tours Worldwide.

"FlyDubai has become the choice for many as it provides a transit visa for 96 hours, which makes it the best choice for such travellers. Air Arabia and Wizz Air are also preferred for transit destinations," said Subair.


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