Monday, July 21, 2008

Visiting Dubai- Visa rules

Thank you for visiting this page. At the bottom you will find a link to download a visa application form and also links to the UAE's Embassies and Consulates around the world.

Many people consult this page in order to find information on how to apply for a visa to enter the UAE. The good news is that the UAE authorities have taken many steps to make this process as straightforward as possible. Apart from the fact that citizens of 39 countries (i.e. GCC nationals plus nationals of listed countries) do not require visas prior to arrival at a UAE airport, there are efficient systems in place to facilitate visitors not falling into one of the above categories. If you are coming to work in the UAE you will require a visa that can only be obtained on your behalf by your employer or sponsor.

As noted above, the kind of visa that you require for entry into the UAE depends on several different factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your planned visit and its planned duration. Please read the following notes carefully. You may also find information on this subject in our news archive. Regulations do change from time to time and, whilst we do endeavour to keep up to date with these note, please do not rely uon them for complete accuracy. You should also check with your airline and regional UAE embassy or consulate.

- If you are a national citizen of a GCC country you do not require a visa to visit the UAE. You will simply need to produce your GCC country passport upon arrival at the point of entry into the UAE

- The following categories of visitors may receive their visit visa at the airport, upon arrival.

1. AGCC Residents

who are not GCC nationals but who have a high professional status such as company managers, business people, auditors, accountants, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, or employees working in the public sector, their families, drivers and personal staff sponsored by them, are eligible for a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival at the approved ports of entry.

2. National citizens of the following countries:

UK(with the right of abode in UK), France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports will be granted a free of charge visa for a single visit upon arrival in the UAE. It should be noted that this list may vary slightly from time to time and it is therefore best to check with your local UAE embassy or the airline that you are using to fly to the UAE.

- If you do NOT fall into one of the above categories, you will require a visa and a sponsor for your visit. The sponsor normally applies for the visa on your behalf.
Valid sponsors may be as follows:-
a - Hotels & Tourist Companies can apply, on your behalf, for a Tourist Visa (valid for 30 days); or a Service Visa (valid for 14 days); or a Visit Visa (valid for 30 days and can be extended for other 30 days)
b - Airlines & Airlines Handlers apply on behalf of their crew members for a 96-hour Transit Visa.
c - Other Organizations based in the UAE may only apply for Visit Visas and Service Visas.
d - Individuals (Relatives or Friends) already resident in the UAE may, subject to guidlines, also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa.

Entry Service Permit

An Entry Service Permit applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company manager’s representatives, sales managers, account auditors, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE, consultants requested by companies operating in the UAE that are required to carry out an urgent task.

This visa is valid for use within 14 days from the date of issue. The duration of stay is 14 days from date of entry, exclusive of arrival and departure days. It is non-renewable.

In order to complete the application, the sponsor will require the visitor’s date of arrival and flight details, and a photocopy of the first few pages of the visitor’s passport which should be valid for at least three months. This type of entry permit will only be issued as urgent at a fee of AED 220.

The Entry Service Permit holder may enter and depart the UAE through any airport.

Visit Visa

The Visit Visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in UAE, those coming for family visits as well as those on long-term business visits. It requires the sponsorship of any UAE resident or any company or hotel licensed to operate within the UAE. A refundable AED 2,000 guarantee from expatriates who wish to sponsor distant relatives is imposed.

This visa is valid for entry within two months from its date of issue.

The Visit Visa is valid for 60 days and is renewable for a total stay of up to 90 days. A fee of AED 500 is charged for this renewal.

In order to complete the application, the sponsor will require the visitor’s date of arrival and arrival details and a photocopy of the first few pages of the visitor’s passport, which must be valid for at least three months. There is a fee of AED 100 for obtaining a visit visa. There is also a fee of AED 10 for visa delivery service by DNATA. Hotels, hotel apartments, tour operators, travel agents and airlines may not levy supplementary charges or processing fees in excess of AED 50/- for arranging visas for visitors.

The Visit Visa holder may enter and leave the country through any port of entry in the UAE.

Tourist Visa

A special category of visas under the Visit Visa type is a Tourist Visa, which can be obtained for individual tourists from: East and West Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, Albania, Russia, the Hellenic Republic, St Kitts-Navis, St Lucia, Mexico, Cuba, Bermuda, Belize, Guyana, French Guiana, Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent, Kingston, Palao other non-defined American nationalities, Thailand, South Africa, Singapore, China, Malta, Cyprus.

The Tourist Visa entitles its holder to a 30 day stay and is non-renewable. The Tourist Visa requires the sponsorship of hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors from the above listed countries. The fee is AED 100. There is also a fee of AED 10 for visa delivery service by DNATA. Hotels, hotel apartments, tour operators, travel agents and airlines may not levy supplementary charges or processing fees in excess of AED 50/- for arranging visas for visitors.

Multiple Entry Visas

Multiple-entry Visas are issued to business visitors who have a relationship with either a multinational or other reputable local company, and who are frequent visitors to the UAE. This type of visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The validity is non-renewable. The cost of this visa is AED 1,000.

The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while in the country. The visa is stamped on the passport.

Transit Visa

Transit passengers stopping at Dubai International Airport for a minimum of 8 hours and meeting the certain conditions mentioned below are eligible for obtaining a 96-hour transit visa. These conditions are as follow:

Airlines sponsored only (prior arrangements maybe required)

Applications should have confirmed onward booking to the 3rd destination

For transit passengers or those holding special permits, or for visit or mission, the passport or the document must be valid for at least three months

Citizens of the following countries are not eligible for the 96 hours visa on arrival:

Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Niger, and Yemen.

The transit visas for passengers arriving at Dubai International Airport can be arranged by Emirates Airline for its passengers or by Marhaba Services for those travelling on other airlines. Marhaba Services Tel: 00971 4 2162657; 2164629


German Citizens

The German citizens (tourists and business people) may apply to the UAE embassy in Germany for a one or two year multiple-entry visa. No sponsor is required. The maximum duration of stay of visa holders should not exceed three months a year. The visa fee is AED 1,500

US Citizens

The US citizens (tourists and business people) may apply to the UAE embassies in the US for one to ten year multiple-entry visas. A sponsor is required and the visa will be granted free of charge. The maximum duration of stay should not exceed six months a visit

Information that you will need to apply for a Visa

We suggest that you enquire from your airline whether you require a visa to be issued in your passport prior to flying to the UAE and you also check with your nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate.You may download a visa application form here but this is subject to change and you should check with your UAE Embassy or Consulate whether this is acceptable.Your application on a valid form must be submitted to your nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate.

Some additional links are provided below:

Up-to-date information on visas is available from the UAE Immigration Services.

The UAE Naturalisation and Residency Administration of the Ministry of the Interior in Dubai also runs a website.

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Abu Dhabi

Saeed bin Tahnoon St.

Abu Dhabi

Tel: 02 4462244

Al Ain

Aditaba Road, near Dubai Islamic Bank, opposite Carrefour supermarket.

Tel: 03 7625555


Department of Naturalization and Residency, Trade Centre Road, near Bur Dubai Police Station

Tel: 04 3980000


Department for Naturalization and Residence, near General Post Office

Tel: 06 5726777

Umm al-Qaiwain

Tel: 06 7666419


Tel: 06 7422255

Ra's as-Khaimah

Tel: 07 2273333