How To Apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa

How To Apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa

Over the years, Dubai in United Arab Emirates has established itself as the premier travel destination in Middle East for travellers around the world.  What used to be a long stretch of desert is now a bustling cosmopolitan of impressive skyscrapers.  In most recent years, Dubai has seen the rise of tourism and has welcomed its door to millions of tourists from all over the globe.  But, not everyone can just enter Dubai, some would need a visa.  Today, we give you the easiest ways on How To Apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa.

Dubai is only one of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates and going here would also give you a chance to visit the beauty of Abu Dhabi.  A weekend vacation in this cosmopolitan city is not enough with its endless things to do.  Lots of activities and plenty of places to visit are what store for all tourists.  But before you get all excited, make sure that you got your visa, if needed, ready.


Countries with Visa Exemptions or Visa on Arrival to United Arab Emirates


If you are a citizen of any of the countries below, then you are not required to obtain a visa when entering the UAE.  Lucky y’all.

No visa needed for the following GCC countries:

Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia


Nationals of below countries need not obtain a visa prior to arrival:


Andorra Argentina  Australia Austria
Belgium Brunei Bulgaria Canada
China Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic
Denmark Estonia Finland France
Germany  Greece Hong Kong Hungary
Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malaysia
Malta Mauritius  Monaco Netherlands
New Zealand Norway Poland Portugal
Romania Russia San Marino Seychelles
Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Korea
Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
USA Vatican City


If you do not see your country on the list, then it is time to obtain a UAE visa.  Remember, that with UAE visa, Abu Dhabi can also be your point of arrival.


Ways to Apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa


I know it is quite a hassle to apply for a visa, but it isn’t as complicated as you think.  In fact, with all the countries we’ve been to that required visa, getting a UAE visa is the easiest.

There are lots of ways to obtain a visa but we will give importance to two ways.  Yes, you can go to the UAE embassy of your country to have it process but it will require your personal appearance.  You can also look for some hotels in Dubai or Abu Dhabi that can help you obtain a visa but finding them will take time.  So, we give you two better alternatives of applying for a Dubai Tourist Visa.


1.  Have your relative/friends/sponsors in UAE process the visa for you in UAE.


This is actually the most convenient way of applying for a visa.  Let your family/friends/sponsor in Dubai or any parts of UAE do the task for you.  They will go to some accredited agencies on your behalf and in less than a week, visa is already ready.

In order for them to process your visa, they need the following:

a.)  Confirmed flight tickets:  Some agencies do not require a confirmed ticket, but since the release of visa is only less than a week and valid for 60 days upon issue, book your ticket first.  You do not want to wait for your visa because flight tickets are getting costly by the day.  If you are sure that you do not have any criminal records and didn’t overstay in UAE before, then, you’ll be fine.

b.)  Passport:  A clear scan copy of your passport is of course important.  Make sure that the passport is valid for more than six months.  If your passport is about to expire, renew it first.

c.)  Picture:  A recent 2×2 picture with white background should be passed.  This picture will be pasted on the visa.

After you submit all your documents, just sit back and wait.  You should receive your visa in less than a week.  If it is more than a week and your visa hasn’t come out yet, ask them to follow-up.


2.  Process it through Emirates or Etihad Airways.


If you do not have anyone to help you process the visa on your behalf, then this is the best resort.  Book your ticket with Emirates and arrive in Dubai or with Etihad and arrive in Abu Dhabi and they can help process the visa for you.

a.)  Emirates:  You have to have a confirmed flight and tickets should have been issued via Emirates to be able to use their service.  The visa application can be done in “manage your booking” option and retrieve your booking details then apply for a visa.

You may click on this link for more information:  Apply for UAE Visa via Emirates

There are different types of visa and the fee depends on which type you are applying.  Refer to the graph below:

The visa processing also takes four business days.

b.)  Etihad Airways:  Etihad Airways arrival port is in Abu Dhabi and in order to process the visa online, you must arrive in Abu Dhabi.  Abu Dhabi, by the way is two-hour drive away from Dubai and Etihad provides free shuttle service.

Etihad is quite better than Emirates because you can process your visa online even if you are not flying via Etihad.  You can fly via any partner airlines and you can have them process the visa on your behalf.

You are required to provide your passport, confirmed flight ticket, and photograph.  Visa fee can be found on this link:  Visa Types and Fees.

To start you application, proceed to this link:  Etihad UAE Visa Application.


Other options


If by chance you do not have any sponsors in Dubai and you think that the airline visa online application is complicated, then you can proceed with other options.  Find a hotel that can help you obtain a visa, or an agency, or apply at the respective UAE Embassies or Consulates in your country.

Like what I mentioned above, visa is only for formalities.  Interview is not required and unless you have criminal records, visa is guaranteed.

So apply for a visa and pack your bags because you are going to the land of camels, desert, and modernisation.

To help you with your plans, check out this post:  One-Week Dubai Tour Itinerary.

Or this:  How to Enjoy Dubai on a Budget

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Written by

Carlo has started working in Macau in 2007 and two years after, he met his destined-to-be wife, Lorna and they started exploring the world. Together.


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