3 Reasons Wealthy UAE Residents are Flocking to Kenya

UAE residents  Sustainability pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, in October 6, 2021.
UAE residents walking outside the Sustainability Pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, on October 6, 2021.
Karim Sahib

Wealthy United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents are increasingly choosing Kenya as one of their top tourist destination points.

Khaleej Times, a leading Dubai publication, indicated that Kenya ranked high on the list alongside South Africa, Tanzania, and Morocco.

The East African country was praised for its ease of visa processing compared to other top tourist destinations across the globe.

“People want hassle-free travel and visa is not an issue for UAE travellers to Kenya and Tanzania. It is a challenge to travel to some Western countries due to visa issues,” the publication indicated.

An aerial view of Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar.
An aerial view of Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar.

While UAE residents need a Visa to travel to Kenya, it is a straightforward process and according to Atlys, a Visa application site, the process is done online and takes less than five minutes.

This contrasts that of Schengen countries where UAE residents have to wait until between September-October 2023 for Visa appointments due to a spike in demand.

Schengen countries include; Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Croatia, Germany, Denmark, and Norway.

Others are Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Estonia, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland, France, Iceland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Liechtenstein.

According to Khaleej Times, Kenya is also benefitting from UAE tourism due to the latest market strategy from Dubai.

“Dubai tour operators are aggressively introducing new packages for residents who are looking to explore the African continent,” the paper explains.

Lastly, UAE residents had long not explored the African continent, making it a unique selling point for tour operators.

Residents from UAE are keen to explore new destinations as many of them have already experienced the traditionally popular tourist countries, especially in Europe.

Between September and October 2023, it is expected tourists from the Arab country will peak as they rush to watch wildebeest migration in Masai Mara and enjoy wildlife in other game parks and reserves across the country.

Tourists watching elephants at the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Tourists watching elephants at the Masai Mara in Kenya.
&Beyond Bateleur Camp