airport
Shutterstock.com
Updated 3 months ago

If you are travelling to Dubai, Expat.com provides you with some useful information below regarding travel formalities.

Travelling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is easy as it is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passengers. Therefore, flights are available from various airlines. Check which ones operate from your country or the nearest airport in your location. Depending on where you’re from, you will also need a visa prior to visiting Dubai. You are advised to contact your local embassy or consulate to ensure that you have the appropriate travel documents.

Authorization of entry

Before you travel to Dubai, check if you are eligible for a visa-free entry or if you can obtain a visa upon arrival, or if you need to apply for a specific type of visa.

If you are from the following countries, you may obtain a 30-day visit visa on arrival. This is free of charge and renewable for a similar period.

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

If you are from the following countries, you may obtain a 90-day multiple entry visit visa valid for six months from the date of issue. This is for a stay of 90 days.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Purpose of visit to Dubai

In general, entry conditions to the UAE vary from one nationality to another. Thus, foreign nationals coming from some countries are allowed to enter the country with their regular passport, whereas others may not. It is best to check with the local embassy or consulate in your country.

Moreover, you will need a local sponsor to apply for your visa. If you will be booking accommodation at a hotel, you can ask if they will sponsor you. Alternatively, the airline can also sponsor you for visa formalities.

The entry permit you need will also depend on the purpose of your visit to Dubai. This could be either for business, tourism, transit, or visiting relatives or friends residing in the UAE.

Application for a visa can be made online or at the United Arab Emirates embassy or consulate in your home country, or even from the United Arab Emirates by a resident third party.

 Important:

It is illegal to work on a tourist or visit visa.

Types of visas

You can choose from different types of visas to travel to the United Arab Emirates:

  • the 96-hours transit visa
  • the short term single entry tourist visa (valid for 30 days for which you may apply online)
  • the long-term single entry tourist visa (valid for 90 days for which you may apply online)
  • the visit visa (valid for 30 or 90 days; this can be sponsored by relatives or friends residing in Dubai)
  • the tourist visa (a special category under the visit visa, sponsored and arranged for by UAE airlines, hotels, and tour operators)
  • the multiple entries visa (valid for 6 months for a maximum of 30 days stay each time; issued to frequent visitors coming for business purposes to Dubai).

Note that the fees for each visa vary and also change from time to time.

 Good to know:

If you are visiting a family member or a close relative residing in the UAE, he or she can apply for a visa on your behalf.

Note that online visa application and payment services are available.

 Useful links:

Emirates
United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Visa application form
UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Visas

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.