The front cover of a contemporary Emirati biometric passport
|Type of document||Passport|
|Eligibility requirements||Emirati citizenship|
|Expiration||5 years after acquisition for applicants aged 6 or over, 3 years for children under 6 years old|
The Emirati passport is issued to citizens of the United Arab Emirates for international travel. The UAE also issues temporary passports, which can be used by non-citizens. However these cannot be used to claim right of abode in the UAE. The UAE Ministry of Interior began to issue biometric passports on 11 December 2011, making it the second GCC state to launch biometric passports after Qatar.
Prior to the formation of the UAE in 1971, the constituting states were responsible for issuing their own passports or travel documents. Such documents were printed in Arabic and English and often made a reference to Great Britain, which occupied the area at the time. Many natives had failed to obtain passports in 1971 and this resulted in subsequent generations being denied the right to hold UAE passports or citizenship. These people, also known as bidun, have found it very difficult to live in the country and have faced trouble leaving the country.
An Emirati passport is one of 5 passports with the most improved rating globally since 2006 in terms of number of countries that its holders may visit without a visa.
The issue fee of an Emirati passport is one of the lowest in the world, with a cost of only AED40 (USD10.90)
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 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.
"All international airports have been informed of the new passports so that UAE nationals can start using their new passports in their travel abroad.
In 2016, Emirati citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 122 countries and territories, ranking the Emirati passport 38th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.