Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Naturalisation and Residence (DNRD) announced today that Dubai remains a favourable place to live for many. Speaking at a luncheon organised by the American Business Council at Crown Plaza hotel today, Al Marri confirmed that Dubai continues to grow at a steady pace despite reports to the contrary. He said that over 66,000 new residency visas were issued during the first two months of 2009 while 44,000 were cancelled. Major General Al Marri reiterated the visit visa regulations for citizens of the USA, one of 33 countries that receive entry permits to the UAE upon arrival at Dubai International Airport. The visit visa for Americans is valid for 30 days free of charge upon arrival to Dubai and can be extended for another 30 days at a specified fee. He said there are 19,150 Americans residing in Dubai on employment and residence visas, and in 2008, more than 198,000 Americans visited Dubai. “We are delighted to have Major General Mohammad Al Marri at our luncheon, and I want to praise his ongoing dedication and hard work that led to great achievements across the department,” said Charles Laubach, VP, legal department, ABC. “He shared with us some good net positive figures and gave us an informative overview of the DNRD new services. And we agree with him that with such a great leadership Dubai will be able to turn the current economic challenge into an opportunity.” The Director of DNRD presented to the audience the various e-services that are currently offered by the department to individuals and establishments including the recently launched Mobile Visa and ‘Amer’ web chat. He said the department aims to turn 90% of its services to online by end of year to ensure 24/7 access to the information and speedy processing of the various types of transactions. Customers may also process their transactions at the DNRD headquarters in Jaffiliya and the various external centres (19 in total) spread across Dubai in the key industrial and business areas, and open from 8am to 8pm. Today’s luncheon with the American Business Council members is one in a series of strategic meetings organized by the DNRD regularly with representatives of the various private sector businesses. They aim at clarifying the visa regulations and discussing issues pertaining to their businesses to create suitable solutions.