Getting a Tourist Visa for the UAE

I’ve noticed that the most viewed post in my blog is “Getting a Tourist Visa for Qatar and people actually find it helpful. Afwan, 🙂

UAE Visa On Arrival

Buboy’s UAE Visa On Arrival – Feb 2012

Hence, I decided to make similar posts, i.e. how we secured visa to the UAE, Oman, Myanmar, et al and mashallah give you a tip or two on your next visa application. 🙂

My first trip to Dubai was during May 2009. It was a three week “exit” stay, as I was waiting for my new work visa to return to Bahrain. I had a 90-day  visit visa (but am really glad I didn’t have to stay that long) hehe.

It was arranged by senior colleagues in my former company. Yup, I didn’t process it myself, all I know was that a travel agency was my sponsor and I had to pay BHD 80/- Steep, i know. That’s the price for convenience, and ignorance. :p

My subsequent trip to the UAE was last year, during Feb 2012. It was a short “birthday” trip, just enough to attend a seminar in Dubai, climb The Top of Burj Khalifa, a night out with friends in Deira, and a day tour of Abu Dhabi. All in less than 48hours. 🙂

The big difference between the two is that though the second trip was much, much shorter, we planned our itinerary well and arranged ourselves our tickets, accommodations and visas. Well, with a bit of help from our airline, Emirates. 🙂

This website is really helpful. Below written info’s from it, check it out:


The kind of visa that you require for entry into the UAE depends on several different factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your planned visit and its planned duration. Please read the following notes carefully. Regulations do change from time to time and, whilst we do endeavor to keep up to date with these notes, please do not rely upon them for complete accuracy. You should also check with your airline and regional UAE embassy or consulate.

GCC Citizens – If you are a national citizen of a GCC country (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain) you do not require a visa to visit the UAE. You will simply need to produce your GCC country passport or ID Card upon arrival at the point of entry into the UAE.

AGCC Residents – Who are not GCC nationals but who have a high professional status such as company managers, business people, auditors, accountants, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, or employees working in the public sector, their families, drivers and personal staff sponsored by them, are eligible for a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival at the approved ports of entry.

Other Nationalities – Citizens of around 30 countries are exempted from UAE Visa. Check out the updated list in their website or at the embassy nearest to you.

If you do NOT fall into one of the above categories, you will require a visa and a sponsor for your visit. The sponsor normally applies for the visa on your behalf.


a.       Hotels & Tourist Companies can apply, on your behalf, for a Tourist Visa (valid for 30 days); or a Service Visa (valid for 14 days); or a Visit Visa (valid for 30 days and can be extended for other 30 days).
b.      Airlines & Airlines Handlers apply on behalf of their crew members for a 96-hour Transit Visa.
c.      Other Organizations based in the UAE may only apply for Visit Visas and Service Visas.
d.      Individuals (Relatives or Friends) already resident in the UAE may, subject to guidelines, also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa.
  1. Visa Application
  2. Passport copies (applicant and companions)
  3. A letter to specify sponsor, whether from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its diplomatic mission
  4. Specifying the type of required permission (tourist, business, etc.)
  5. Permission classification (short term, long term, multiple entry, complementary)
  6. Please ensure that the passport is valid (for at least 6 months)
  7. A clear passport photo, preferably a scanned passport instead of scanning the copy


The visa fees depend on the type and duration of your stay (96  hour, tourist, visit, single entry, multiple entry, et al). Check the MOFA website for the complete table of visa types and corresponding fees applicable.

During our Feb 2012 trip, Buboy’s already entitled to Visa-On-Arrival (VOA) having CPR & Bahrain RP as an Engineer. He paid AED 100 as visa fees plus AED 85 for some other related fees, Visa was valid for 30 days stay.

However for me, my CPR and Bahrain RP designation that time was not yet updated so I opted for pre-arranged visa via Airline as sponsorYes, ako na ang paranoid ma-offload sa immigrations, hehehe.

Our airline was Emirates and they offer this uber cool & convenient pre-arranged visa Service. Check their website for more information.

NB: Etihad Airways’ currently offering this similar visa assistance service as well. 

As our stay’s only for 2 days, I chose the 96-hour visa, paid AED 200 plus some minimal service fee. All steps of the application / transactions were online, asteeeg. I just attached scanned copies of my passport, CPR and Bahrain RP and that was it. A couple of days passed and I received the visa on my email. Yay! 🙂

UAE 96 hour Visa via Emirates Pre-arranged Visa Service

UAE 96 hour Visa via Emirates Pre-arranged Visa Service

NB: I heard that they recently changed / increased the visa fees… awww. I checked Emirates, Etihad’s and the MOFA’s websites just now and they showed different fees. I have to verify with the Embassy then. Yalla! 🙂

Categories: United Arab Emirates | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Getting a Tourist Visa for the UAE

  1. Pingback: Getting a Tourist Visa for Oman | adbenturera

  2. Pingback: Getting a Tourist Visa for Myanmar | adbenturera

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