Emirati passport

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Emirati passport
The front cover of a contemporary Emirati biometric passport
The identity information page of a contemporary Emirati biometric passport
Issued by United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior:
(Regular and Temporary)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
(Diplomatic, Special, and Service)
First issued1971 (first version)
December 11, 2011 (biometric)
EligibilityEmirati citizenship
Expiration10 years after acquisition for applicants aged 21 or over, 5 years for applicants under 21 years old
CostAED 50 (US$13.62)

Emirati passports (Arabic: جَوَاز ٱلسَّفَر ٱلْإِمَارَاتِي, romanizedJawāz As-Safar Al-ʾImārātī) are passports given from the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Emirati citizens for the purpose of international travel.


Prior to the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, each constituting emirate issued its own passports or travel documents.[1] These documents were printed in both Arabic and English and often made a reference to the issuing emirate and its ruling sheikh.[2]

Emirati passports issued since 11 December 2011 have been biometric passports. The UAE is the second GCC state (after Qatar) to issue such passports.[3]


There are a number of types of Emirati passports:[4][5]

  • Regular Passport (navy blue cover): issued to UAE citizens.
  • Special Passport (green cover): issued to members of the Federal National Council, retired high-ranking government officials and their families. The passport can also be issued by a federal decision from the Supreme Federal Council to Emirati state representatives. This passport has the same visa regime as the diplomatic passport.
  • Diplomatic Passport (red cover): issued to members of the royal family and diplomats serving in Emirati embassies abroad and to high-ranking officials from the executive branch and their families during their period of service.
  • Service or Temporary Passport (cyan cover): issued to citizens and non-citizens for a specific period of time to perform a service or a particular task of interest to the state. This passport if issued to non-citizens does not bestow a right of abode in the UAE.
  • Emergency Passport (grey cover): issued to citizens of the UAE who lost their passport abroad or lost their identity card in the GCC or their passport expired abroad or issued in times of a natural disaster or evacuation.

Physical appearance[edit]

The first and last pages are made of hard paper, thicker than that of the old passport—a measure that allows it to remain in good shape until the passport expires. The first page contains a watercolour outline of the outer frame of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the last page contains a drawing of the actual mosque with domes and columns. The passport identity page has all the particulars printed and laminated. The new passports contain data to resolve name duplication, which is one of the biggest issues that existed with old passports.[6]

Like passports of other states whose official language is written from right-to-left, the Emirati passport is similarly opened from the left-hand side. The cost of an Emirati passport in 2018 is AED 50 (US$13.60).[5]

Generic design[edit]

Old and New passports

On the front cover of the each passport type, there is a representation of the emblem of the United Arab Emirates in the centre. The emblem was modified in 2008, and passports issued afterwards incorporated the new design. "United Arab Emirates" (in Arabic: "الامارات العربية المتحدة" (in Arabic calligraphy) and in English) appears above the coat of arms.

Regular passports have Arabic: "جواز سفر" in Arabic calligraphy and "PASSPORT" in English below the coat of arms.

Special passports have Arabic: "جواز سفر خاص" in Arabic calligraphy and "SPECIAL PASSPORT" in English below the coat of arms.

Diplomatic passports have Arabic: "جواز سفر دبلوماسي" in Arabic calligraphy and "DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT" in English below the coat of arms.

A biometric passport has the biometric passport e-passport symbol at the bottom. There are 62 pages in all biometric passport, and the last page contains encrypted biometric data to prevent forgery.[7][8][unreliable source?]

Identity Information page[edit]

The second page of an Emirati passport is security laminated and includes the following data:

  • Photo of passport owner
  • Type of document (P = passport)
  • Code for issuing country (ARE = United Arab Emirates)
  • Passport number (9 alphanumeric digits, chosen from numerals 0–9 and letters C, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, R, T, V, W, X, Y, Z. Thus, "0" denotes the numeral, not the letter "O".)
  • Full Name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Place of birth
  • Date of issue
  • Date of expiry
  • Authority that issued the passport
  • Owner's signature

The page ends with a 2-line machine readable zone, according to ICAO standard 9303. The country code is ARE as is the standard country code for United Arab Emirates (according to ISO 3166-1 alpha-3).


The data/information page is printed bilingually in both Arabic and English in all fields except for a white label in the next-to-last page in the passport which contains the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior emblem and documents the citizen's military specific claim number and uniform number.

Visa requirements[edit]

Visa requirements for Emirati citizens
  United Arab Emirates
  Freedom of movement
  Visa not required
  Visa on arrival
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required

Visa requirements for Emirati citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of the UAE. According to the Henley Passport Index, as of 2023, Emirati citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 178 of countries and territories, ranking the Emirati passport 15th in the world in terms of travel freedom.[9]

The Emirati passport is one of five passports with the greatest improvement in visa-free rating in the 2006–2016 time period.[10]

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation plans to make the UAE passport one of the five strongest passports in the world by 2021.[11] According to The Passport Index, this goal was achieved by December 2018, ranking the Emirati passport as the strongest passport in the world with a visa-free score of 170.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UAE history - Passport of Darwish bin Karam al Qubaisi issued by the government of Abu Dhabi in 1962". Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  2. ^ "British Embassy Abu Dhabi - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
  3. ^ "Abu Dhabi Government Digital Portal". www.abudhabi.ae (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  4. ^ Title 2 of Federal Law No. 17 of 1972 Concerning Nationality and Passports
  5. ^ a b "Federal Law No. 17 of 1972". UAE Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  6. ^ "الإدارة العامة للإقامة وشؤون الأجانب - دبي |".
  7. ^ "The Emirati passport - The Official Portal of the UAE Government". u.ae. Retrieved 2022-09-03.
  8. ^ "도란도란씨 소소한 일상 기록실(아부다비 거주중) : 네이버 블로그". blog.naver.com (in Korean).
  9. ^ "UAE Passport Strength".
  10. ^ "UAE Passport Strength".
  11. ^ WAM (28 October 2017). "Visa on arrival for UAE citizens in Vanuatu".
  12. ^ Report, Web. "UAE passport now world's 3rd most powerful". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  13. ^ "Unexpected country now has world's most powerful passport". NewsComAu. December 4, 2018.