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How to get a visa for the United Arab Emirates

by Juan José Herranz | Thu 16 Jun 2022
How to get a visa for the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a country composed of 7 emirates. Although Dubai is the most touristic one, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the country and the richest emirate of the 7, due to the fact that it has the largest amount of oil and gas.
With an area of almost 100,000 square kilometers and a population of more than 9 million inhabitants, the United Arab Emirates is the country with the most immigrants in the world. It is estimated that almost 90% of its inhabitants are not Emirati.

Do I need a visa to travel to the United Arab Emirates?

Depending on your nationality, you will need to apply for a visa or not:
Free tourist visas are available upon arrival in the country. These visas allow for a maximum stay of 30 days and can only be applied for by citizens of the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
There are also free 90-day multiple-entry tourist visas for citizens of various nationalities, including most European countries.
Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia only need a passport to travel to the emirates.
All other citizens of the world must apply for an electronic tourist or transit visa to travel to the country.

Visa types

To travel to the United Arab Emirates for transit, tourism or visiting a friend and/or relative, we must apply for a tourist visa if our nationality requires it. The visas available are:

Transit e-visa for 48 hours

This electronic visa is valid for 14 days from the date of approval. It only allows you to stay in the country for 2 days. This e-visa allows you to transit through any border of the Emirati country.

Transit e-Visa for 96 hours

This e-visa is valid for 30 days after approval. It allows you to transit the country for 4 days and can be accessed through any border of the Emirati territory.

Electronic Tourist Visa

This electronic visa is valid for 60 days from issuance. It allows for a single stay of 30 or 60 days, depending on the applicant's nationality. This visa allows access to the country through any of its borders.

Multiple-entry tourist e-visa.

This is a multiple-entry electronic visa, valid for 60 days from issuance. It allows for a maximum continuous stay of 30 days, but during its validity you can enter and leave the country as many times as you need. This visa allows you to enter the country through any of its borders.

Long-stay tourist visa

This electronic visa is valid for 60 days from the date of approval to enter the country. Once in the country, your stay cannot exceed 90 days. This visa is a single entry visa, if you leave the country before the end of the visa term, you will not be able to re-enter. If you wish to return, you must apply for a new visa.

Multi-entry long-stay tourist visa

This multi-entry electronic visa is valid for 60 days from the date of approval to enter the country. Once in the country, the e-visa is valid for 90 days, which you may use continuously or discontinuously during its validity period. During the 90 days of validity you can enter and leave the United Arab Emirates as many times as you need.

Tourist visa on arrival

This tourist visa is processed on arrival at the airport of the United Arab Emirates to which you are traveling.
This on-arrival visa allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 30 days and it is a single-entry visa.
Please note that not all nationalities can apply for this visa on arrival, so you should check if your nationality is eligible for this visa.

How to apply for a United Arab Emirates visa?

Citizens of nationalities not allowed to apply for a UAE visa upon arrival in the Emirates can apply online at a specialized website such as visagov.com, or at Emirati airlines.

Who needs a visa for the United Arab Emirates?

All foreign nationals wishing to travel to the United Arab Emirates must apply for an entry visa. Some nationalities can apply upon arrival at the airport at the immigration office.
All nationalities can apply for an electronic tourist visa online.

What are the requirements to apply for a visa to the United Arab Emirates?

- To process an e-visa we need:
The application form.
A 6x6cm color photograph with white background.
A color copy of passport showing all information, and valid for at least six months at the time of travel.
A card to make the payment of the corresponding fees.
An e-mail address to receive your electronic visa.

In case of transit visas, you must also submit an airline ticket confirming the final destination of your trip.
- Travellers under 18 must attach:
Photo identification of parents or legal guardians.
Copy of the tourist visa of one of the parents or parent.

Children under 18 years of age or students must travel with their parents. Note further that only mechanic-readable passports will be accepted.

Can the United Arab Emirates visa be changed once it has been processed?

No, once the UAE e-visa has been processed, it is not possible to make changes.

How much does the United Arab Emirates visa cost?

Depending on the type of visa we require, the cost will vary:
Transit visa for 48 hours 10€
Transit visa for 96 hours 30€
Tourist visa for 30 days and single entry 90€
Multi-entry 90-day tourist visa 175€

How far in advance do I have to apply for the United Arab Emirates visa?

We must apply for our visa at least 48 working hours in advance.

What are the entry borders to the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates has land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. To the north is the Persian Gulf, and to the east is the Gulf of Oman.

Are vaccinations required for travel to the  United Arab Emirates?

The only vaccine required for travel to the UAE at this time is the COVID19 one. The rest of the recommended vaccinations are the usual ones we already have, as there is no health risk in the UAE apart from COVID.

What is the currency of the United Arab Emirates?

The currency of the Emirates is the Dirham. 1 Dirham is equivalent to 0.25 € and 0.27$

When is the best time to travel to the United Arab Emirates?

Even though the UAE may be visited all year round, because of the high temperatures in the summer, the optimal time to travel there would be from October to May. In these months daytime temperatures are somewhat milder, and nighttime temperatures drop considerably.

Is it safe to travel to the United Arab Emirates?

The UAE is one of the safest places in the world in terms of delinquency. Its strict laws make it an extremely safe country. When traveling to the UAE, we must be careful and properly respect the rules and customs of the country. Let's remember that no matter how modern and spectacular the emirates are, they are Arab countries.

Important tips for traveling to the United Arab Emirates

We are traveling to an Arab country, be careful and respect their culture.
Drugs are totally forbidden, any kind of illegal substance, including non-prescription medication, can cause us a big problem.
Tourists are only allowed to drink alcohol in designated areas, never on the streets.
Be careful with clothing, especially for women. We must also be careful on both public and private beaches, topless is strictly forbidden.
Although the clothing should be a little modest, we must wear light and breathable clothing.
Cap, sunglasses and sunscreen should not be missing in our suitcase.
We should not show affection in public, especially the LGBT community.
We can withdraw dirhams in any ATM or exchange house, but credit cards are accepted in 90% of the places.
Bargaining is still a typical thing, but only in the souks.
Tipping is not obligatory.
In the emirates you drive on the right, we must take this into account if we want to rent a vehicle.
If we are going to rent a vehicle in the UAE, be careful, and ask for the international license before your trip to avoid problems.
We must carry a power adapter, because the plugs are 3-pin.
Although good medical care is available, it is not free. We must travel with medical insurance.


About the author
Juan José Herranz

Juan José Herranz
Hello! I'm Juan Jose, a boy from Extremadura who loves to travel and share his experiences with readers. I write articles for Visagov.com and I also help users to process electronic visas for all countries in the world that require it. I'm more of the mountains than the beach, so the quiet destinations with green landscapes are my favorites.


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