According to a 2017 ranking unveiled by Euromonitor, Dubai is among the top ten most visited cities in the world. Ranking at number six, Dubai drew in 14.9 million visitors in 2016 and was expected to welcome 16 million visitors by the close of 2017.

If you too are planning to visit Dubai, or have a family member or friend who’s looking to holiday in the sunny emirate, here’s what you must know about securing a UAE visa before you travel.

Who requires a visa to visit Dubai?

Citizens of more than 40 countries do not need to prearrange a visa before traveling to the UAE. They will be issued a visa on arrival at one of the international airports in the country. The eligible nationalities include the United States, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong as well as bunch of European countries. For the full list of nationalities that qualify for a visa on arrival click here.

Don’t see your country on that list? Don’t worry the UAE tourist visa application process is pretty straightforward, quick and simple.

[Related- UAE property: The residency visa rules]

What are the different visa types?

The table below lists the different types of tourist/visit visas you can apply for, along with the duration of stay permitted under each, as well as their respective costs.


Visa Type Duration of Stay Approximate Cost*
Single-entry tourist/visit visa 30 days AED 350
Multiple-entry tourist visa 30 days AED 650
Single-entry long term visit visa 90 days AED 950
Multiple-entry long term visit visa 90 days AED 2,200
Service visa 14 days AED 350


* Visa processing fees may vary across different service providers and sponsors – airlines, hotels and travel agencies. Travel agencies may charge you extra for express visa processing services.

How do I apply for a visa?

A tourist visa can be prearranged through a travel agency, hotel or airline based in the UAE. These companies essentially sponsor your visit to the UAE. Apart from tourist visas, regular visit visas as listed above, can also be applied through a UAE resident (family or friend) as well as through other UAE-based companies.

What documents will I need to submit?

You will need to provide the following documents to proceed with your tourist/visit visa application:

  • Passport copy
  • A passport size colored photograph
  • Copy of confirmed flight booking
  • If the visitor has a guarantor in the UAE, then passport and UAE residence visa copy of the guarantor will be required too

Important bits to keep in mind…

Time your application carefully – Once the documents are submitted, it usually takes about three to five working days for your visa to be processed. Tourist/visit visas to the UAE are valid for 60 days, so make sure you don’t apply too early.

Check the expiry date on your passport – Your passport should be valid for at least six months from your date of arrival to the UAE.

Visas cannot be extended – You can no longer renew your visit visa or extend your stay in the UAE with the current visa. Be sure to leave the country before your visa expires, or you’ll have to pay a fine at the airport as a penalty for overstaying.

Don’t forget about travel insurance – Get travel insurance before visiting the UAE to avoid paying through the nose if you face a medical emergency in the country. Also check with your local health insurance provider if you’re covered for emergency medical treatments in the UAE.