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


Entry stamp
Exit stamp
Entry and exit stamps on a Singapore passport.

Nationals of the following 49 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 — 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 24 countries and territories are eligible to obtain a free UAE visa on arrival, which is valid for 30 days.[17][18] 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][22]

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, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam and holders of diplomatic passports of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Guinea, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Niger, Senegal also do not require a visa or can obtain a free visa on arrival.

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, 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 Dhs50.[31][32]

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, 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.[33][34]

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,[35] Air Astana,[36] Emirates,[37] Etihad[38] (and Air Baltic[39] and Air Serbia[40]), flydubai,[41] Turkish Airlines[42] and Indigo Airlines[43]

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 recognize the state of Israel and therefore, Israeli passports are not recognized as legitimate and legal passports.
  •  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]

Visitor statistics[edit]

Emirate of Dubai[edit]

Most visitors[note 1] arriving to Emirate of Dubai were from the following countries of nationality:[44][45]

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 checking in hotels in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were from the following countries of nationality:[46]

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. ^ 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


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "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. ^ [1]
  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. ^ [2]
  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. ^ [3]
  12. ^ UAE citizens exempt from pre-entry visa to Barbados
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain cut ties to Qatar". Al Jazeera. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  15. ^ "All EU Citizens To Get UAE Visa On Arrival From March 22". Gulf Business. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ "Services".
  18. ^ "Visa & Passport Information Results - Visa & passport information". Emirates.
  19. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^ [6]
  22. ^
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ [8]
  27. ^ "Kenya and UAE sign visa waiver agreement for diplomats".
  28. ^ Wam. "UAE signs visa exemption MoU with two Pacific countries".
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ [9]
  32. ^ [10]
  33. ^ [11]
  34. ^ "Apply for UAE visa, UAE Visa Online, Dubai visa service".
  35. ^ "Visa and passport information - Air Arabia".
  36. ^ "Visas". Air Astana.
  37. ^ "UAE visa information - Visa & passport information - Before you fly - Emirates". Emirates.
  38. ^ "UAE visa - Etihad Airways".
  39. ^ Services, TT. "UAE Visa Services - UAE Visa Application and Processing Center".
  40. ^ Services, TT. "UAE Visa Services - UAE Visa Application and Processing Center".
  41. ^ "UAE Visas". flydubai.
  42. ^ 2011, Medyasoft (c). "Turkish Airlines".
  43. ^ "Welcome to travel2dubai with IndiGo". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  44. ^ Visitor by Nationality - Emirate of Dubai 2017
  45. ^الزوار%20حسب%20الجنسية%202016.pdf Visitor by Nationality* - Emirate of Dubai (2014 - 2016)
  46. ^ "Abu Dhabi Hotel Report 2018" (PDF). Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. 31 December 2018.

External links[edit]