How to get Dubai Visa

Disclaimer: This is a guide post only and accuracy is not guaranteed. Please check with your local authorities to get exact requirements for UAE visa based on your qualification criteria.

It is no secret that Dubai is one of the must-visit cities in the region. Every year millions of tourists from around the world come here to marvel at its wonders. If you are planning to come to Dubai for tourism then this post will guide you how to get the required visa to enter Dubai.

Do you Qualify for Dubai Visa

Dubai is part of UAE so in order to visit Dubai you need UAE visa. There are multiple ways to obtain UAE visa but first and foremost is to check whether or not you need a visa to travel to UAE.

If you are a citizen of one of the exempted countries then you don’t need to get a visa before traveling to UAE (most western hemisphere countries are included in this). You can get 30-day visa on arrival at one of the entry points (airports and border crossings). Moreover, residents of GCC countries (usually having the word “manager” in their designation) can also get on-arrival visa when they enter UAE by air or by road.

Applying for UAE Visa

For the rest of the world, you need to get a UAE visa prior to your arrival here. Again there are multiple ways to do that.

There are various types of visas being given out for the UAE. It all depends upon the purpose behind your visit. The purpose of your visit is the most important thing which is taken into account before you are issued your visa. You can apply for 30-days tourist visa or 90-days visit visa, or even as short as 96-hour transit visa.

Apply Through a Local Sponsor

If you have a relative or friend in UAE then they can sponsor your tourist or visit visa. All they need to do is take your passport, photograph and other required documents to a DNRD center, pay the visa fees (which varies depending upon type of visa) and security deposit (refundable after you leave the country), and get a UAE visa. It normally takes 1-2 days. After your friend obtains the visa for you, they can send you a copy through email or fax and submit the original at the airport where you are scheduled to arrive. When you arrive at the airport you can collect your original visa document at the visa collection center and proceed to the immigration for entry stamp. Welcome to Dubai. Let’s start the shopping spree.

Apply Through a Travel Agent

If you are making your travel arrangements through a travel agent, then talk to them about UAE visa as well. Most travel agents can apply for your UAE visa on your behalf. In this case also you need to give your passport copy, photograph, (any other required documents) and visa fees to the travel agent. After 2-3 days he will give you a copy of visa document which you need to travel to UAE and collect the original at the airport when you arrive in UAE.

Apply through the Airline

Many UAE based airlines also help their passengers get UAE visa. Emirates Airlines, for example, offers visa services to their passengers. If you are buying tickets through Emirates then talk to them or check their website about UAE visa. You can also apply for a transit visa through your airline if you are transiting in Dubai for a few hours (or passing through Dubai and want to check out the city). Just check with your airline when making travel arrangements.

Moreover, your relative or friend in UAE can also apply for your visa through the airline if you are traveling through one of the airlines that offer visa services.

As they say, a friend in need is a friend indeed. This holds true specifically for getting UAE visa.

Enjoy your stay in Dubai. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

UAE Visa page on Emirates website
UAE Visa page on FlyDubai website
Visa assistance page on Air Arabia website