The Essentials - Georgia Budget Travel Must Haves

travel to Georgia from Dubai

My recent trip to Georgia the country turned out to be successful, thanks to the blogs I have skimmed and read way back January I was able to plan it ahead. For now, I will be sharing my own experience and how I was able to survive the trip travelling solo. :)

From Dubai to Georgia - What You Should Bring

One good thing about being a resident of the UAE is getting easy access to several travel destinations in the world. A Filipino passport holder AND a Dubai resident can go to Georgia VISA FREE for up to 90 days (source: Visa HQ). All you need to secure is the validity of your passport and some blank pages and you are good to go.

Holiday Factory is legit, and they are extremely cheap.

Holiday Factory to Tbilisi Georgia

I booked my vacation through Holiday Factory - a 3nights and 4days package that includes air tickets, hotel accommodation, and transfers. Short stay yes, but the city destination Tbilisi is quite small you can explore it for hours. Prices for the package varies, it cost higher if you opt for a 5 star hotel. Since I have already planned my tours and I knew before hand that I will be going out of Tblisi a lot during the day, I opted for the 3 star hotel (Grand Palace). This cost me AED 1099 plus the single supplement of AED 200 and the entire room was mine, ha!

Note that since the package is cheap, the flights that you will get is super early in the morning (12mn flight from Dubai to Tblisi and 4am flight to Dubai from Tbilisi). Technically, you will only have 3 full days to yourself BUT you can always opt to extend your stay for an additional AED 150 per day, not really bad.

When I arrived at the airport, I only presented my renewed passport, IDs, my travel voucher which I have printed and I was able to get through immigration right away. Tip: They will be asking you how much your pocket money will be so make sure you have enough (enough means minimum AED2000). 

Once you have arrived at Tbilisi airport, the immigration will also ask you for travel documents, make sure you provide it to them including your resident visa in the UAE (this is very important). When you get out of the immigration, pick up your baggage and go straight to the departure area where you will see a Holiday Factory sign, the representatives are waiting for you along with the others who also booked through them. See, I wasn't really alone after all!

Currency - What type of money should you bring in Georgia?

money to bring in Georgia

The currency in Georgia is called Georgian Lari (GEL). It is not really far from the currency value of UAE Dirhams but I will advise to buy a few hundred dollars first (in USD) and have these exchanged at Tbilisi Airport for GEL. USD to GEL have higher equivalent rather than AED to GEL.

USD 500 is more than enough to survive for 5 days. I barely used USD 300 (approximately 700 GEL), I was even able to go for lunch and dinner somewhere nice and was able to book 3 tours for 3 days - taking home a lot of things from the local stores too.

Take note of the places you want to visit - bring a MAP!


tour Tbilisi Georgia
Taking down notes of Instagrammable places in Tbilisi, leather journal from Surat Journals

Before I set foot to the beautiful Tbilisi, I bookmarked the places I want to visit which are Instagram friendly. Where did I find these things? Google and Instagram. You also need to take note of their street names, some of them are really close to each other especially in Old Tbilisi where all of the best 'grammable' cafes and structures can be found. You can definitely save up for taxi fares if you walk through the streets and you will also get the chance to explore secret places.

Instagram Tip to Tbilisi, Georgia and beyond: If you want to go places around the city or outside Tbilisi, a few accounts that you need to follow are: GeorgiaTravel , InstagrmGeorgia, WowTbilisi, TbilisiPhoto, and photomaker_d.k - these accounts are amazing!

You will thank me for including this thing on the list - POWER PLUGS and SOCKETS in Georgia.

power outlet in Tbilisi Georgia

This is something that I missed on my research, all facilities in Georgia the country use a power plug/socket which is type C or F - meaning it has 2 rounded holes. In Dubai, we have three so I quite struggled a bit on my camera power and ran out of battery on the third day. Thank heavens I have a spare type C plug, this saved my iPhone for the rest of the days. As a travel tip, make sure to bring a universal adaptor so you will never ran out of power. And make it two!

electrical plugs in Georgia
Bring this type of adaptor when you are travelling to Georgia.
Let's say you already arrived in Georgia and you're trying to find a store that sells this type of adaptor, go to the Freedom Square underground. There is a small electronic shop that sells type F adaptor (the one I'm holding from the previous photo) for 3GEL. Sadly, I discovered this a few hours before I went back to Dubai. Lol.

Clothing and accessories for your Georgia winter travel

Georgia winter fashion
Thick scarves, hand gloves, winter hats, and socks are the winter essentials in Georgia

I travelled late March in Tbilisi and geez it was cold. The weather is between 9 to 11 degrees in Tbilisi, out of this city is colder. In Gudauri, you will experience about -1 degrees even. Aside from thick clothing and warmers and coats, you need to have scarves thick enough to cover your neck, hand gloves, winter hats, and thick socks to keep you warm.

winter boots

It also rained when I arrived in Tbilisi and although a pair of rubber shoes are good to have in your luggage, I will strongly suggest to wear leather boots to keep your feet warm from the freezing weather of Georgia during winter.

I hope these things helped. In the next few days, I will be posting more of the picturesque landscapes of Georgia to show you how beautiful the country is!

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I travelled to Georgia solo from March 20 - 23. This post is not sponsored and was paid from my own money, opinion and photos are my own.


Related posts of my Georgia Travel Moments here:

80 comments

  1. Planning to travel last week of May, any tips on what to pack? Thanks!

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    1. Hi! Local acquaintances mentioned that last week of May is Spring but on most parts especially in the mountains is still quite chilly. Sweaters are essentials and you may skip on the coats. It may rain from time to time so an umbrella is a staple.

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    2. Hi we will be travelling on wednesday...I wasnjust wondering what clothes to bring and is there still snow during this month

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  2. Will be travelling solo in two weeks time with holiday factory. I feel ready now upon reading your blog. Salamat :)

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    1. Walang anuman! :) Good to know this post hepled. :)

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  3. Will be travelling alone too in two weeks time with holiday factory. I felt ready upon reading your blog! Salamat :)

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  4. Hi ms. Joy how much did you pay for visa on arrival?did they ask for travel insurance or ask for a proof of funds or bank statement? I've already booked my ticket for solo backpacking and ready to go on may. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Hello! I'm a UAE resident and they didn't ask much except for a copy of my residence visa and Emirates ID. I think it will depend on your country of origin. :) For my trip, I was on Visa-free so I didn't pay any visa fees at all. :)

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  5. Hi Miss Joy! This page is very helpful for me. My boyfriend and I were planning to visit in Georgia on late January, hindi naman halatang excited ako noh hehe, kasi ngayon I keep reading some blogs and forum about Traveling there, then suddenly I saw your blog nga as mention on my first comment, This post will be my guide soon. Thanks a lot for your blog! It makes me more excited to have our vacation there. By the way, I like all your outfit on Instagram you really such a model! ;)

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  6. Tip: They will be asking you how much your pocket money will be so make sure you have enough (enough means minimum AED2000).
    regarding this, is it necessary to show them your money or they'll just ask.

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    1. On some occassions, the immigration will check. I have prepared mine but wasn't able to consume everything, so I suggest to carry with you some extra. :)

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  7. hi! did you pay any extra amount to holiday factory other than 1099 aed? I've heard they are charging extra 500aed? is that true?

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  8. hi ms Joy! nice blog! :) did you pay anything extra other than 1099 from holiday factory? ive heard they are charging around 500aed. is that true?

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    1. Hi Yhetty! If you've been reading about it, I travelled solo and i booked it along with a single suplement of AED 200 at the time of my travel. Not sure if this is the same case this time, you can try to check with Holiday Factory's hotline indicated on their website.

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  9. Hi Joy. Thanks for the helpful article. I'll be traveling solo this September for 4 days, 3 nights (via Holiday Factory). They say it's the best time of the year. Can you share your travel itenerary to me? How did you book tours?

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  10. Hi. Where did you book a tour?

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    1. Hello! I booked with David from Holidays in Georgia. You can check the link on other posts that I made. :)

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  11. Most helpful blog ever! Keep writing... you're doing a great job :*

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  12. Hi my friend... This blog really helped us before traveling to Georgia. Really... We were trying to find exchange from where we can buy Lari. But after reading this post we bought some dollar and exchanged it in Tbilisi airport to Lari. Also I must really say big thanks to you regarding the socket types and where we can find in Tbilisi... First thing we did yesterday was to visit freedom square underground market to buy the socket and we bought it. Big thanks to you my friend.

    Regards,
    BM

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    1. Glad to know my blog post was helpful, this means a lot to me!

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  13. Hi, Joy Caasi

    What would you suggest me, I will travel to Tbilisi coming 6th December, What should i keep with me during Travel? Question:- Is Travel Insurance important to travel to Tbilisi ?

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    1. December is extremely cold, bring lots and lots and layers of jacket with you. Lip balm as well, it will make your lips super chapped. And yes, always secure with you a travel insurance.

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  14. I am travelling this month(oct). this is my first visit through holiday factory they have emailed me a voucher but seat or eticket is not there only a voucher advise how to get the e-ticket also guide about the places can be seen in 3 days (landscapes ) and how to go there? what about weather?

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  15. Your voucher should contain your reference number by which you need to book your travel dates on their website again. Normally, the availability of their hotel does not match your preferred travel dates especially if it's a weekend so you need to take note of that. And cancelling a voucher takes forever so make sure to book your travel 1 month before.

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  16. hi Joy did they paste the visa on arrival or just stamp? i mean it was a sticker like UAE residency or just a entry stamp for Georgia? i am waiting for your reply :).

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    1. Hello Rashid,

      They only place a stamp on your passport, no stickers etc. :) I hope you enjoy your stay in Georgia!

      Joy C.

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  17. Hi Joy,
    Do I (Dubai Resident) need to pay anything at the airpart as entry fee?

    Thank you
    Renny

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    1. Hi Renny,

      During my time of travel, Visa is free for UAE residents. I'm not sure if this still applies until now BUT I see ads of Facebook from Georgia Travel called Visa Free during winter. Contact them on Facebook, they are very responsive on replies.

      Joy

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  18. That was rellay a quick response. Thank you so much. I'm planning to travel Mid Nov with family. How is night life in Tbilisi? Is it live and safe (like Dubai) to roam around during night?
    Renny

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    1. No place is safer than Dubai (in my own opinion). :) When I was in Tbilisi, I went roaming around Old Tbilisi on my own, some strangers approach me and offer drinks but of course I refused because I didn't personally know them. Since you will be travelling with your family, it would be safe I guess. Best way is to always go around in groups. Police cars are also stationed everywhere so you should be fine. :)

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  19. Hi Ms. Joy,

    Ask ko lang po, we woking here in Dubai and we are planning to visit Georgia on December, do you think it must to have a travel insurance and document providing supporting financial means? Thanks for the advise Ms. Joy. God Bless :)

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    1. Hello Nova!

      Yes you need a travel insurance and a document that you are earning in Dubai. Even a printed copy of your bank account statement should be fine. :) By the way, it's extremely cold in December so bring lots of warmers!

      Have a safe trip to you and enjoy Georgia!

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  20. Hi Joy,

    Are they really asking for the emirates ID? or the resident visa in the passport would be fine?

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    1. Yes they are asking for the Emirates ID. It's a requirement from their immigration to validate your residence in the UAE. If you don't have this, they might ask for you to pay visa fees. Emirates ID holders are visa free to enter Georgia. :)

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  21. Hi Ms. Joy, I'm travelling tomorrow to Georgia. Its good I have read your blog because it helped a lot. Anyway, just want to know since I'm also travelling alone, where should I pay the additional supplement? Is it with holiday factory or in the hotel upon my arrival? Thanks

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    1. The additional supplement is collected by Holiday Factory themselves before you travel. :)

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  22. Hi Ms. Joy,
    We are planning to visit Georgia this coming December. I would like to know how much did you spend for daily tour? Because we are planning to visit Gudauri for 1 day only.

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  23. Hi Ms. Joy!

    I'd say it's a blessing to have stumbled upon this blog of yours really. BIG thanks by the way!

    We will be travelling to Georgia this coming December and would like to know a few info . First is, is it required to avail of a travel insurance? Also, did the immigration in Georgia ask you to show your pocket money? and what's the exchange rate at the airport vs. the ones in tbilisi, if they have currency exchange booths? :)

    I've also browsed through the "Holidays In Georgia" fb page, all thanks to you :), and looked around their available 1 day excursions, but i did not see the one that includes Gudauri. Is this excursion still available with Mr. David? and how much did it cost you?

    Will really be looking forward to your reply.

    Thanks in advance Ms. Joy!

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    1. Hi!

      I believe now they require a travel insurance when you arrive at the immigration, so better get one just to make sure. When I went to Georgia, the insurance that I have is only health insurance (I provided them a copy and the health card too).

      Pocket money, yes they did ask (please read this blog post again). Currency rate varies on a day to day basis. Like I mentioned, you need to get dollars first then have it exchanged at either airport or city center money exchange shops.

      For David's excursion, how about sending them an email or calling them instead to check? :) When I was in Georgia, they had many options. It basically depends on what type of excursion you would like to avail but of course, feel free to ask around for other options. :)

      Enjoy your stay in Georgia, December is very cold and it will snow for sure but you will definitely enjoy it!

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  24. Hi! I'm planning to visit Georgia too this January. �� Very informative blog! I'd like to know though how do you obtain the health/travel insurance? I have a health insurance/card but it's valid only in the Philippines. Looking forward to your reply. :) Thanks!

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    1. Hello! It is still safe to obtain a travel insurance, it's fairly cheap in my opinion. You can get one from Dnata or RSA Travels. :)

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  25. Hi.
    I am travelling to Georgia this December and I'm so excited about it. First time to experience SNOW. :) Glad I came across to your blog. But my question is.. I am also a Filipina, currently in Dubai. Got my residence visa last June 2016. So basically I dont have a bank here. So i need or is it a must to present bank statement? I have a bank but that is in the Philippines.
    Waiting for your response. :)

    Thanks,
    Caitlyn

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    1. Hi Caitlyn,

      Yes, I will suggest for you to request a copy of your bank statement from PH. If you have online banking, it's fairly easy to get a copy. Better have it on hand than nothing. ;)

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  26. Hi Ms. Joy!

    Your blog is a blessing to us. We are planning to go to Georgia in February of 2017. However, one of my friends' visa will be expiring on March 31, 2017. Do they still allow or accept the visa since she still have more than a month validity?

    Also, you said, there are different options for the daily tour. May I know how much will it cost? Is it still under the holiday factory representatives?

    Thank you.

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    1. Hi, not entirely sure about the visa but the standard policy for tourist is 6 months. You may need to check that one out directly from Georgia's Immigration.

      As for the tour, I believe the pricing already changed so feel free to get in touch with David and his team for more details (the email address is infoholidays01@gmail.com) . :)

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  27. hi! Im travelling to Georgia this January and I'm very excited. I just wanna ask if holiday factory provides baggage allowance for the traveler?

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  28. I believe it will be up to your airline provider. Best way is to contact Holiday Factory directly, they could probably arrange that for you.

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    1. ellow ms joy

      big thanks i encounter ur wall and in addition..would like to ask more help ..\
      im planning to travel with my partner in our own - is it convenient to travel in our own or to have any tour package? we can go around with taxi? how about outside tbilisi? thankx much :)

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  29. Hi Joy, I want to check with you if I need travel insurance? I also booked in holiday factory.

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  30. Hi Ms Joy,
    My husband and I will be traveling to Georgia this January. My husband's resident visa is under my sponsorship and he has no work here in UAE. Will there be a problem if im the only one presenting our source of income like bank account details, credit card in immigration if they ask?
    Also, can I get Mr. David's email account so that i can inquire regarding tour packages etc. Thanks.

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  31. Hi Ms. Joy,
    Can I get David's email address so that I can inquire the tour details/packages they offer. Me and my husband will be travelling on January.

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    1. Hi Christine, I'm not sure about the Visa. Like I mentioned I travelled alone and the experience here is based on how I had it when I travelled last year. There should be a Georgian Immigration here, search on Google and try to get in touch with them to make sure. :) David's email was shared on the thread here, if in case you missed it, it should be infoholidays01@gmail.com .

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  32. Thanks for your great insight about the trip I have plan for visiting Georgia through same tour company Holiday Factory.

    This helps alot to know about Georgia and now I am much more excited to go there.

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    1. Good to know this post helped, enjoy Georgia!

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  33. Hi! This is very helpful. Thanks a lot :) I am planning to travel to Georgia on January 1 and I'm pretty much excited about it. I just want to ask though if I should exchange my dirhams already before I leave or should I do it upon arrival in Tbilisi?

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    1. Hello, like I mentioned above it would be better to exchange your dirhams to USD before arriving to the airport. USD has greater value than AED in Georgia.

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  34. Hi j,C
    Planning to travel there from 5th jan - 08th Jan 2017.My wife along with two kids.Thinking to carry 1000 USD and 3000 AED. By the way going through holiday factory.Is the money is enough for 4 persons? Thanks for your informative details.

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    1. Hello. I think your money should be enough, it will basically depend on how much you are willing to spend and on which commodity you are willing to spend. Georgia is pretty cheap. :)

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  35. HI MS JC,
    Thanks for your all information.Planning to go on 5th to 8th jan 2017 through holiday factory. For 4 persons thinking to take 1000 USD and 2000AED along side. Is it ok ?

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    1. Oh my, I read this late. Yes, your budget should be more than enough. :)

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  36. Hi Joy,

    Other than Tbilisi, what places in Georgia should we visit? My friend and I are planning to go there by end of Feb.

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    1. I enjoyed Signaghi the most. :) Try to go up Kazbegi, it's a long drive but they said it has best area for sightseeing in Georgia. I'm planning to go back for Kazbegi too.

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  37. Hi! I've been scavenging data for our soon to be (crossed fingers) trip to Georgia on May, fortunately, I won't be travelling alone. I am not saying it's a bad thing but I have to consider lots of things. I'm doing solo for the research and they just watch and sort of glare at me as the ticket prices rise up every week. Meron kami contact sa Georgia pero the charged is way too expensive than Holiday Inn, pero I don't know the details yet kung anu yung inclusions - I am still waiting sa reply nila.

    If you don't mind me asking po, anu po inclusions ng package mo sa Georgia? lately kasi ang mahal na ng packages ng Georgia eh, cguro dahil mas nakikilala na sya ng marami. When you arrived there po, may mga additional payments ba for the tours? Nabasa ko kasi you have your own itinerary so, hindi sya kasama sa package?

    Ang dami ko tanong? haha. Thanks for sharing po! esp sa charger :)

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    1. When I booked through Holiday Factory, the only inclusion are: air tickets, accommodation, and transfer from hotel to airport. Yung tours hindi kasama, I booked this through another tour provider (David). If you will be booking for tours, the price that they give you is the actual price. Minsan may mga payment for museum tickets, hindi naman sha mahal so magtabi ka na lang ng extra. :)

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  38. Hello joy!!thank you for your post .. I have a resident visa here in oman , Are they requiring in immigration a 6 months validity of my visa? It will expire on march this year ..

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    1. Hi Jj! As far as I know, only UAE resident visa holders are allowed for Visa on arrival for Georgia. Oman residents require e-visa.

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  39. Hello..thank you for your post..i have a query ..I have a working visa here in Oman..are they requiring in immigration 6 months validity of visa ? mine will expire on march this year ..

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  40. @ JOY... All GCC resident holders are allowed to enter GE on showing your resident card.
    I traveled to GE in November 2016 now traveling again in couple of days in FEB 2017.
    Its

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  41. Hi Ms. Joy!!

    I'm planning to visit Georgia this April for 3 weeks. I will come from Phils. In regards with the show money, kailangan ba ng Bank Statement at Pocket money ang ipakita? And any idea what document i have to present for purpose of travel? And mahigpit ba sila? Salamat!!

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    1. Hi Anne. Are you a resident of Dubai? Kasi if not, you are required to have an e-visa before you can step into the country. Bank statement is needed din and so as the pocket money. Hindi sila mahigpit but I guess you will have a hard time from our immigration. There isn't any direct flight to Tbilisi from Manila and you really have to stop in one of the neighbouring countries.

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    2. No, I am not a resident of Dubai. I am based in Manila. Already looking for flights and applied for my e-visa already. My concern is they are asking for documents proving the purpose of travel, pwede na ba ung IT dun? And also I will only go there to meet my boyfriend (he's US citizen) and he will sponsor my whole trip. Any idea kung pano yun so I don't have to present Bank statement and everything? Salamat po!

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    3. Yep, bank statement is needed and travel itinerary (hotel bookings, tours etc). If the boyfriend will sponsor, then he needs to send you a copy of everything. :)

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  42. Hello Ms. Joy! I plan to travel this September to Georgia. Is it okay if my Emirates ID expires on December? Or may minimum months of validity for the ID?

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    1. Hi Milka. I think that's fine, just make sure your passport is valid for at least 6months.

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  43. Hi Joy,

    Me and my family will be traveling first week of March and I want to book through Holiday Factory, currently they have two offers,Georgia (999) and Georgia with snow mountain experience (1299), would you suggest to take the cheaper offer and just take a tour to the snow mountain or ill just grab the Snow mountain experience package?

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    1. Hey Clark, I personally think paying xtra 299AED for the snow mountain experience is more pricey at Holiday Factory. You can definitely get a cheaper price when you arrive in Tbilisi. ;)

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  44. Hi Joy, beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences. By the way, do you know if booking a local tour guide requires a payment in advance? Me and my friend are planning to visit in May 2017. Thanks again and I look forward to your reply. Cheers, Cherry

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    1. Hi Cherry. I got in touch with my previous tour operator, they now require payment in advance. :)

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