Many visitors to the UAE do not require a visa prior to arriving in the country. In some cases, tourists requiring a visa will be issued with a one month visa free of charge as part of the immigration process on arrival in the UAE.
The kind of visa you require depends upon several factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your visit and the length of your planned stay. There are various types of visa available for different purposes, and some of them require prior application well ahead of your visit, so make sure you are prepared. Where required, visa types include:
• Tourist Visa (30 days and non-renewable with a fee)
• Transit Visa (Those in transit within Dubai Airport for 8-96 hours)
• Multi-Entry Visa (usually required for cruise ship passengers and business visitors entering the country more than once in a single trip)
• Visit Visa (Up to 14 days. Sponsorship may be required)
• Student Visa (Sponsorship by an educational institution, E-form application with a fee)
• 30-Day Short-Term Visit Visa (E-form application with a fee)
• 90-Day Long-Term Visit Visa (E-form application with a fee)
• 30-Day and 90-Day Visit Visas (Available for either individuals or companies)
Rules have recently changed in 2015 regarding visa entry to the UAE for both tourists and workers. Here’s the lowdown and links for you to check the relevant up to date information that may affect your visit.
US Visitors to UAE
US citizens with a passport valid for at least 6 months after arrival can obtain a one month visa at the airport on arrival. You should be in possession of a return airline ticket to a country outside the UAE.
Longer multiple-entry visas lasting from 1-10 years can be arranged through the UAE Embassy in the USA.
EU Visitors to UAE (excluding UK and Ireland)
A new short stay visa waiver agreement was signed on 6 May 2015 allowing EU passport holders to visit the UAE without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in any 180 day period. This applies to anyone visiting the UAE for any reason, providing they are not engaging in paid activity. However, the agreement does not include UK and Ireland passport holders.
The EU countries this applies to are:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Non-Visa Countries including UK
Passport holders from the following named countries do not need a visa prior to arrival in the UAE. Tourists will be granted a stay of up to one month on arrival in the UAE provided they have a confirmed airline ticket for departure and a valid passport with at least 6 months left before expiry.
Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland (Rep), Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, Vatican.
Holders of passports not listed above need to apply to the UAE Embassy in their country before making the trip. Details can be found on the UAE Embassy website. You may need to be sponsored to visit family or friends.