Majority of visitors to UAE will have to obtain a visa prior to entering the emirate. Citizens of certain countries (GCC nationals and nationals of listed countries) do not require visa prior to arrival at the UAE airport. For the rest, who do not fall into this category, there are other efficient systems in place.
The kind of visa required by you to enter into UAE will depend on various factors such as your nationality, purpose of visit, and duration of stay. The visa rules change from time to time. Although, these details are an endeavour from our side to keep you updated, you are advised to check with your regional UAE embassy or consulate or the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, to keep yourself updated.
If you are a national of any GCC country, you do not require a visa to visit the UAE. You only need to produce your GCC country passport on arrival at the entry point in the UAE.
Visa on Arrival
Visitors falling under the below categories will receive visit visa on their arrival at the airport:
GCC Residents: Residents who are not GCC nationals, but, have high professional status, such as business men, company managers, accountants, auditors, engineers, doctors, pharmacists, or employees (and their families) working in the public sector, drivers and personal staff under their sponsorship, are all eligible for non-renewable 30-day visa on arrival, at approved points of entry. However, a valid passport with valid GCC residence stamp, along with proof of employment in the country of residence, may require to be produced for this category.
Nationals eligible for visa on arrival
Nationals belonging to the following countries will be granted visa on arrival in Dubai and UAE. Therefore, no prior arrangements have to made, and the visa stamp is free on arriving at the Dubai International Airport or other airports in UAE. However, this list may vary from time to time, and it is therefore advised that you check with your airline or local UAE embassy before entering UAE.
United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Monaco, Spain, Finland, Andorra, Vatican, Liechtenstein, Marino, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, San Marino, South Korea, Malaysia, and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports.
Note: Effective 2nd January 2011, Canadian nationals require a visa to enter the UAE. They are not eligible for a free visit visa on arrival in the UAE. They will have to apply in advance for a UAE visit visa or UAE tourist visa.
In case, you do not fit into any of the above mentioned categories, you will require a sponsor for your visit, and the sponsor will have to apply for the visa on your behalf. Valid sponsors are those who fit into any of the below mentioned categories:
- Hotel and Tourist Companies. They can apply on your behalf, either for a Visit Visa (with validity period of 30 days), or Tourist Visa (valid for 30 days) or Service Visa (valid for 14 days).
- Airlines and Airline Handlers who can apply on behalf of their crew members for a 96-hour Transit Visa
- Other UAE-based organizations. But, they can apply only for Visit Visas and Service Visas
- Individuals (Friends or Relatives) who already reside in the UAE, can also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa, but, may be subject to certain guidelines.
Amer mobile visa service
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai is said to have introduced a mobile visa service to organisations and individuals in Dubai. You need to call 800-5111 to arrange for the visa, and the staff of the Amer Service can visit you if required, at an additional fee. The operating times are 08:00-20:00hrs (Sunday to Thursday only).
Distinguished Guest System (DG System)
This is a special service for people who frequently visit Dubai (Managers, Business men, and VIPs) of all nationalities. The service offers special amenities allowing the D G to enter city several times during a limited period (as specified by the sponsor), and execute transactions at a faster pace, by issuing visa electronically through the system during each visit. The D G will be mostly be given E-Gate card for entry/exit purpose.
Establishments can register for the DG System. The person seeking the DG system should not be less than 18 years of age. This service is open to all nations eligible for visa-on-arrival at UAE. However, the applicant should have entered UAE previously by visit visa.