Visa requirements for entering Dubai vary greatly between different nationalities, and regulations should always be checked before travelling, since details can change with little or no warning. GCC nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa to enter Dubai. Citizens from many other countries (including the UK, USA, Australia and many EU countries) get an automatic visa upon arrival at the airport.
Visa On Arrival
Citizens of the following countries receive an automatic visit visa on arrival: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vatican City.
The entry visa is valid for 30 days, although you can renew for a further 30 days at a cost of Dhs.620.
Expats with residency in other GCC countries, who do not belong to one of the 32 visa on arrival nationalities but who do meet certain criteria (professions such as managers, doctors and engineers), can get a non-renewable 30 day visa on arrival – check with your airline before
All other nationalities can get a 30 day tourist visa sponsored by a local entity, such as a hotel or tour operator, before entry. The fee is Dhs.100, and the visa can be renewed for a further 30 days for Dhs.620.
Canadian citizens used to be on the automatic visa list but, from 2 January 2011, they are required to obtain a visa in advance. Citizens of eastern European countries, former Soviet Union countries, China and South Africa can get a 30 day, non-renewable tourist visa sponsored by a local entity, such as a hotel or tour operator, before entry into the UAE. The fee is Dhs.100 for the visa and an additional Dhs.20 for delivery.
Other visitors can apply for an entry service permit (exclusive of arrival/departure days), valid for use within 14 days of the date of issue and non-renewable. Once this expires, the visitor must remain out of the country for 30 days before re-entering on a new visit visa. The application fee for this is Dhs.120, plus an additional Dhs.20 delivery charge.
Multiple Entry Visa
A multiple-entry visa is available to visitors who have a relationship with a local business, meaning they have to visit regularly. Valid for visits of a maximum of 14 days each time, for six months from date of issue, it costs Dhs.1,000 and should be applied for after entering the UAE on a visit visa. For an additional Dhs.200, a multiple entry visa holder is eligible for the eGate service. Companies may levy a maximum of Dhs.50 extra in processing charges for arranging visas. The DNATA (Dubai National Airline Travel Agency) visa delivery service costs an extra Dhs.20.
Fully Fledged Resident
After entering Dubai on an employment or residency visa, you have 60 days to complete all of the procedures involved in becoming a resident – although it’s unlikely to take anywhere near that long. If you need to leave the country again before the process is completed, you should be able to do so as long as you have the entry visa that was stamped in your passport when you first entered. It’s probably best though if you avoid booking any holidays in those first few weeks.