Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates and is roughly located at mean sea level. Dubai is one amongst the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates and is symbolic for its man-made islands, colossal shopping malls and landmark architectural wonders such as the Burj Khalifa and Mall of Emirates. Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East. Traveling to Dubai will definitely set you back money-wise. On the bright side there are many things to do in Dubai, from dune bashing and camel riding to shopping and discovering the delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.

The type of visa needed to enter Dubai or other emirates within the UAE depends on several factors such as nationality, the purpose of the visit and its duration. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals are granted entry upon arrival to the UAE with passports or national identification documents. Non-GCC passport holders travelling with GCC nationals should check visa requirements for their respective countries.

Do I need a visa to travel to the UAE?

People from different nationalities need to fulfill different criteria to obtain a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In this article avid travellers will be introduced to the procedures to get a UAE visa, with focus on travelling to Dubai, and if travel plans include any other location in the seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah).

90 Day Visa On Arrival

Citizens of the following countries do not require advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE and can obtain a visa upon arrival for 90 days:

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

Indian Citizens with A US Visa/Green Card/ Student Visa

Indian citizens in possession of a valid US visa (green card or student visa) can apply for a 14-day visa on arrival at the Dubai airport.

Some points for travellers to remember:

  • Citizens of the countries listed above can obtain a visa upon arrival for 90 days from the date of entry with their normal passports.
  • This visa type is non renewable.
  • Passports should be normal and valid for more than six months.
  • The visa holder can use the 90-day visa upon arrival to be consumed within 180 days from first entry.

30 Day Visa On Arrival

Citizens of the following countries do not require advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE and can obtain a visa upon arrival for 30 days with a 10-day grace period:

Andorra China Malaysia Singapore
Australia Hong Kong Monaco South Korea
Brunei Ireland New Zealand The Vatican
Canada Japan San Marino United States
United Kingdom Russia

A few points for travellers to remember:

  • Citizens of the countries listed above can obtain a visa upon arrival for 30 days from the date of entry with their normal passports.
  • The visa is extendable and the total validity, if extended, would be 60 days from the date of entry.
  • Passports should be normal and valid for more than six months.
  • This visa is considered a multi-entry visa, which allows the visa holder to consume the 30-day visa validity regardless of whether the visa holder is inside or outside the UAE. Any number of days the visa holder stays outside the UAE would be calculated from the 40-day validity of the visa.

US Citizens

United States citizens who have regular passports do not need to have a visa to visit the UAE. However, please ensure to fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Original passport signed by the bearer, should not expire within six months from the expected time of arrival in the UAE.
  2. Confirmed round-trip airline ticket or airline tickets to other destinations.

The visas are available upon arrival at the UAE airports and the American citizens can stay for 1 month in the UAE. However, if the stay is going to be longer, it is advised to contact the immigration officer at the airport or the local immigration office in the UAE and apply for the same.

Visa requirement for Non-US citizens

It is mandatory that your original passport (not a travel document), should not expire within six months from the expected date of arrival in the UAE.

  1. Confirm round-trip airline ticket or airline tickets to other destinations.
  2. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brunei, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kuwait, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom & Northern Ireland and The Vatican.

  1. Upon your arrival to UAE airports, the visas will be granted to you. This also includes those who hold visas in their passports or entry stamps from other countries and visa is valid for a one month stay in the UAE. However, if you are going to stay longer, you have to contact the immigration officer at the airport or the local immigration office in the UAE and apply for the same.

The visas are available upon arrival at the UAE airports and the American citizens can stay for one month in the UAE. However, if for a longer vacation or stay, do contact the immigration officer at the airport or the local immigration office in the UAE and apply for the same.

Visa Requirements for GCC Nationals

The citizens of GCC countries i.e. the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, do not require a visa to visit the UAE.

GCC residents who are not the national citizens but are working as high-level official such as doctors, managers, engineers or public sector employees along with their families can have a 30-day non-renewable visa at all the airports in the UAE upon arrival.

Visa Requirements for Other Nationalities

Tourists from all the other nationalities must apply for a visa before they enter the country. They can do so through their respective embassy, a local UAE sponsor or even a local hotel in the UAE.

Types of Visas

Visit Visa

Tourists who wish to stay in the UAE for more than 14 days or those coming on family or business visits can apply for Visit Visas. These are valid for either 30 days (short term visit visa) or 90 days (long term visit visa). Both visas are non-renewable. Apart from the visa fees, a deposit is to be paid by the local sponsor/relative/resident which is reimbursed after the Visit Visa holder has left the country.

90-Day Long-Term Visit Visa for individuals is valid for 60 days from the issue date and non-renewable. Valid for 90 days from the arrival date and non-renewable

30-Day Short-Term Visit Visa for individuals is valid for 30 days from the issue date and non-renewable. Valid for 30 days from the arrival date and non-renewable

Tourist Visa

The Tourist Visa is a special category under the Visit Visa type and entitles the holder to a 30-day stay and in non-renewable. If visa holder of the Tourist Visa stays for more than 30 days, that person has to pay a fine per day plus some charges for an out pass.

Multiple-entry Visa

Multiple-entry Visas are issued to cruise ship passengers since their schedule entitles them to enter the country more than once in a single trip. Such visas are also issued to business visitors who are frequent visitors to the UAE due to their ties with a multinational company or a reputable local company. Multiple-entry Visas are valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The visa is non-renewable. The individual must enter the UAE on a Visit Visa and then obtain a Multiple-entry Visa.

Transit Visa

Transit passengers stopping at the UAE airports for a minimum of 8 hours are eligible for a 96 hour Transit Visa. A valid onward ticket is required. Passport and other travel documents should be valid for at least three months.

General Rules and Conditions

  • Entry into the UAE is subject to immigration approval.
  • Visa processing time is approximately three to four working days.
  • Visa fees once paid are non-refundable.

Forex Tips

The currency of the UAE is Dirham (Dhm). Most banks in city exchange foreign currency however the time taken might differ from one bank to another. There are many exchange houses in malls and at the airport where you can easily get a currency exchange.

A Note about Sponsors:

Travellers to Dubai can get a Tourist Visa which is valid for 30 days, a Service Visa for 14 days or even a Visit Visa from a hotel or a travel company, but must first make a reservation. They must then transfer a copy of their passport and other documents to the hotel or travel agency along with their plan and arrival date. The hotel or the respective organisation will then fax you a visa copy when it is ready. Other individuals and organisations based or residing in the UAE can apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa. Also, Work Visa can be obtained on your behalf from the employer or sponsor if you are planning to work in the UAE.

Airlines and airlines-handlers can apply for a 96-hour Transit Visa on behalf of their crew members. Other UAE companies may apply only for Service Visa or a Visit Visa.

Travellers can visit the nearest UAE Embassy to access accurate and the latest visa information or for help online travellers can visit dnrd.ae/en/visa-information-and-tips

UAE Visit Visas, Cheap Hotel Bookings in Dubai – now at Cozmo Travel!

We are your ideal travel partner when it comes to traveling to destinations from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Cozmo Travel is a one stop shop for economical travel plans and itineraries, flight tickets, UAE visa assistance and hotel bookings within UAE and across the world. We welcome you to read other articles in our large collection of blog entries, not only to be informed about the wonderful destinations waiting for you, but to approach Cozmo Travel for help with getting to these awe-inspiring destinations.

Cozmo Travel LLC is an esteemed member of the Air Arabia Group, and in 2010, commenced operations as a full-fledged IATA certified travel agency in Sharjah. Cozmo Travel currently holds a portfolio of 39 branches in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) with 26 branches operating out of the UAE, seven branches in Saudi Arabia, three in Qatar, two in Kuwait and one in Bahrain.