Visa policy of the United Arab Emirates

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Visitors to the United Arab Emirates must obtain a visa prior to travel unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or one of the countries whose citizens are eligible for visa on arrival.

Citizens of member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council have a freedom of movement in the UAE, except for citizens of Qatar who are no longer allowed to enter (since 2017), unless they are a family member of a resident.[1][2]

All visitors visiting the United Arab Emirates must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months. GCC nationals (except Qatar) need to only show their government issued ID card or driving license.

Visa policy map[edit]

Visa policy of the United Arab Emirates


Nationals of the following 53 countries may enter the United Arab Emirates without a visa:[1][3]

Freedom of movement
180 days
90 days within any 180 day period
90 days
30 days

ID — May enter with an ID card.
1 — Not applicable to passports stamped "Article 17, paragraph 2".
2 — Also including holders of passports for public affairs.
3 — For holders of biometric passports only.

Visa on arrival[edit]

Holders of normal passports issued by the following 21 countries and territories are eligible to obtain a free UAE visa on arrival, which is valid for 30 days.[19][20] Extension is possible for a fee.[1]

1 – Only applicable for British citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens and British Subjects who have a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode.

Substitute visas[edit]

Citizens of  India who are valid visa holders or residents of the United States, or who are residents of the European Union, are eligible to obtain a free 14 day visa on arrival.[1][21]

Diplomatic and service category passports[edit]

  United Arab Emirates
  Visa free or free visa on arrival for diplomatic and service category passports
  Visa free or free visa on arrival for diplomatic passports

In addition to nations whose all citizens are visa exempt, holders of diplomatic or service category passports of Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Morocco, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam and holders of diplomatic passports of Armenia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo DR, Ethiopia, Guinea, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Uzbekistan also do not require a visa or can obtain a free visa on arrival.

Conflicting information[edit]

Government of UAE website lists  Grenada on the list of countries whose citizens holding normal passports may obtain a visa on arrival valid for 90 days.[22] IATA and the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE do not hold the same information.[23][24] Website of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, London suggests that there has been a visa on arrival facility in place since 1 June 2018.[25]

Only IATA lists  Liberia and  Mongolia as countries whose normal passport holders are visa exempt.

Future changes[edit]

United Arab Emirates has signed visa exemption agreements with the following countries that are not yet ratified or applied:

Transit visa[edit]

Passengers on all international airlines may enter the United Arab Emirates for 96 hours after obtaining a transit visa at the airport. The time difference between the two flights must be over 8 hours and the passenger must continue to a third destination. Passengers also must have a hotel booking. This is not applicable to nationals of Afghanistan, Iraq, Niger, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.[1]

All travellers in transit are exempt from entry fees for the first 48 hours; this brief entry may be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of 50 AED.[33][34]

Requirements for visa application[edit]

For all others nationals who are not granted visa-free or visa on arrival, UAE visas rules vary according to nationality, age and gender. For example, for Moroccans, Algerians, Libyans, Syrians , Mauritanians and Tunisians, the minimum age requirement to apply for a visa is 40. For other nationalities, the minimum age requirement to apply for a visa is 21 for men and 23 for women.[35][36]

Airline visas[edit]

Visitors normally require a sponsor but visas can also be arranged online through an airline if they are arriving on Air Arabia,[37] Air Astana,[38] Emirates,[39] Etihad[40] (and Air Baltic[41] and Air Serbia[42]), flydubai,[43] Turkish Airlines[44] and Indigo Airlines[45]

Passports that require prior confirmation[edit]

Entry to the UAE is refused to nationals of these countries without a prior authorization issued from UAE ministry of foreign affairs:[1]

  •  Israel - UAE does not have official diplomatic relations with Israel and therefore, Israeli passports are denied entry. However, special visas are sometimes issued for sports or other international events. Israeli passport holders are free to transit via airports in the UAE while remaining in the transit area.[1]
  •  Qatar - Prior confirmation from UAE ministry of foreign affairs is required before a visa is issued. Qatari nationals who are family members of UAE citizens/residents are permitted entry to the UAE.[1] Qataris who want to visit the UAE need to either submit an application through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website[note 1] or call a designated hotline[note 2]. Entry is refused for applicants with security concerns. Since June 2017 to March 2019, over 95% of applicants were approved.[47]

Use for other countries[edit]

UAE visas or residence permits are accepted as substitute visas for national visas or they allow for simplified entry procedures in the following countries:

  •  Armenia — Nationals of India with a UAE residence permit may obtain a visa on arrival valid for up to 120 days.[48]
  •  Azerbaijan — UAE residents can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days if they have a residence permit valid for at least 6 months from the arrival date.[49]
  •  Georgia — UAE residents and visa holders may enter and stay in Georgia without visa for 90 calendar days in any 180-day period. UAE visa and/or a residence permit must be valid on the day of entry into Georgia.[50]
  •  Kyrgyzstan — Nationals of Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tunisia who are UAE residents can apply for a visa on arrival valid for 30 days.[51]

Visitor statistics[edit]

Emirate of Dubai[edit]

Most visitors[note 3] arriving to Emirate of Dubai were from the following countries of nationality:[52][53]

Country 2017 2016 2015
 India 2,073,000 1,800,000 1,601,000
 Saudi Arabia 1,529,000 1,638,000 1,542,000
 United Kingdom 1,265,000 1,245,000 1,188,000
 Oman 862,000 1,037,000 1,002,000
 China 764,000 540,000 450,000
 United States 633,000 607,000 602,000
 Pakistan 598,000 607,000 513,000
 Russia 530,000 240,000 211,000
 Germany 506,000 462,000 461,000
 Iran 503,000 472,000 462,000
Total 15,790,000 14,900,000 14,200,000

Emirate of Abu Dhabi[edit]

Hotel guests[note 4] checking in hotels in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were from the following countries of nationality:[54]

Country 2018 2017
 India 416,000 360,000
 China 401,000 372,000
 United Kingdom 278,000 261,000
 United States 194,000 164,000
 Philippines 183,000 181,000
 Egypt 169,000 160,000
 Saudi Arabia 168,000 152,000
 Germany 142,000 131,000
Total 5,043,821 4,852,405

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website
  2. ^ Ministry of Interior’s secured hotline service at +9718002626[46]
  3. ^ International visitors who spend one night at least in Dubai including air, land & sea visitors, excluding United Arab Emirates residents, local Emiratis and aircrews & marines
  4. ^ Excluding Emirati citizens


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Country information (visa section)". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA) through Olympic Air. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  2. ^ Haneen Dajani (11 June 2017). "UAE hotline to help Emirati-Qatari families". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ "UAE visa information". Emirates (airline). Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-02. Retrieved 2019-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Sharon Uranie (14 July 2015). "It's official! Visa-free travel to UAE for all Seychelles passports as of Thursday". Seychelles News Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Memorándum de Entendimiento entre la República Argentina y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos sobre Exención Mutua del Requisito de Visa para Titulares de Pasaportes Ordinarios" [Memorandum of Understanding between the Argentine Republic and the United Arab Emirates on the Mutual Exemption of the Visa Requirement for Holders of Ordinary Passports] (in Spanish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  7. ^ "UAE visa-waiver deal with Chile". UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  8. ^ 驻阿联酋大使倪坚出席中阿扩大免签范围换文仪式 (in Chinese). Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Arab Emirates. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Detalji". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  10. ^ Agreement between the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the government of the United Arab Emirates on mutual visa waiver for holders of a normal passport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. (in Portuguese)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "MoFAIC -- News -- UAE citizens exempt from pre-entry visa to Barbados". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  13. ^ "UAE, Mexico exchange MoU on visa exemption". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ "Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain cut ties to Qatar". Al Jazeera. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  17. ^ "All EU Citizens To Get UAE Visa On Arrival From March 22". Gulf Business. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  18. ^ Nur-Sultan, UAE Embassy (8 February 2018). "Поздравляем дружественный народ Казахстана с тем, что с 10 марта вступает в силу безвизовый режим для граждан Казахстана сроком пребывания в Объединенных Арабских Эмиратах до 30 дней. Желаем приятного пребывания в ОАЭ". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Services".
  20. ^ "Visa & Passport Information Results - Visa & passport information".
  21. ^ "More Indian passport holders to get visa on arrival in UAE". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Do you need an entry permit or a visa to enter the UAE? - The Official Portal of the UAE Government". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  23. ^ Timatic
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^
  27. ^ Belarus And UAE Sign Mutual Visa-Free Entry
  28. ^ [5]
  29. ^ [6]
  30. ^ "News". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  31. ^ "UAE signs visa exemption MoU with two Pacific countries".
  32. ^ "Kenya and UAE sign visa waiver agreement for diplomats".
  33. ^ "UAE announces new visa rules for residents, jobseekers and tourists". Gulf Business. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  34. ^ "В ОАЭ отменили визы для транзитных туристов". 14 June 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Apply for UAE visa, UAE Visa Online, Dubai visa service".
  37. ^ "Visa and passport information - Air Arabia".
  38. ^ "Visas". Air Astana.
  39. ^ "UAE visa information - Visa & passport information - Before you fly - Emirates". Emirates.
  40. ^ "UAE visa - Etihad Airways".
  41. ^ Services, TT. "UAE Visa Services - UAE Visa Application and Processing Center".
  42. ^ Services, TT. "UAE Visa Services - UAE Visa Application and Processing Center".
  43. ^ "UAE Visas".
  44. ^ 2011, Medyasoft (c). "Turkish Airlines".
  45. ^ "Welcome to travel2dubai with IndiGo". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  46. ^ "UAE hotline to help Emirati-Qatari families". The National. 11 June 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  47. ^ "Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates)" (PDF). International Court of Justice. 22 March 2019. p. 22.
  48. ^ Timatic.
  49. ^ [ Azerbaijan grants UAE residents visa on arrival
  50. ^ On Approval of the List of Countries, Whose Visa and/or Residence Permit Holders May Enter Georgia without a Visa for an Appropriate Period and under Appropriate Conditions
  51. ^ Timatic.
  52. ^ "Visitor by Nationality - Emirate of Dubai 2017" (PDF).
  53. ^ "Visitor by Nationality* - Emirate of Dubai (2014 - 2016)" (PDF).
  54. ^ "Abu Dhabi Hotel Report 2018" (PDF). Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. 31 December 2018.

External links[edit]