dubai tourist visa guide

Dubai Tourist Visa Guide

The UAE has something for everyone, whether you want to watch Formula 1, go ziplining at Jebel Jais or discover culture at grand mosques and Arabian deserts. But Dubai (the largest city in the country) has the most incredible experiences. Travelers favor the city because of its fascinating attractions, mind-blowing architecture, and extravagant lifestyle. That is why it is one of the most popular Middle Eastern destinations. In any case, if Dubai has been on your travel wish list, then you should know about Dubai tourist visas.

Dubai Tourist Visa – In a nutshell

Let’s begin this Dubai visa guide with a basic explanation.

A Dubai tourist visa is the preferred term for a UAE tourist visa; a UAE tourist visa and a Dubai tourist visa are the same. With a Dubai tourist visa, visitors can explore UAE for tourism or social purposes only for a set period. Whether individuals need a pre-approved Dubai visa before arriving in Dubai depends on their citizenship. Regarding Dubai tourist visas, you can apply for the following types based on your travel plans:

  • 30-Day Tourist Visa (Single/Multiple Entry)
  • 90- Day Tourist Visa (Single/Multiple Entry)

There is also a new five-year tourist visa that enables tourists to enter Dubai multiple times with self-sponsorship. This visa holder can stay for 90 days, which you can extend again for 90 days. However, you must leave the UAE before the validity of your visa expires. You can extend your tourist visa twice for 30 days at a time for an additional fee. However, if you overstay your visa in Dubai after it expires, you will be charged a penalty. 

Is a Dubai tourist visa required for everyone?

Dubai visa requirements depend on an individual’s citizenship. Hence, you should check whether the list of visa-exempt countries includes your nationality. 

GCC citizens are not required to obtain a UAE visa since they are fully visa-exempt and can enter the country without a sponsor or visa. Other nationalities will need proof to enter the UAE.

Mexican citizens can get a 180-day Dubai visa on arrival.

Dubai visa on arrival is available to Indian citizens with USA green cards, UK residency permits, or EU residence permits.  

Visa on arrival is available for the following passport holders for 30 days.

Andorra Macau
Australia Malaysia
Bahamas Mauritius
Brunei Monaco
Canada New Zealand
China Singapore
Hong Kong UK
Italy Ukraine
Japan USA
Kazakhstan Vatican City

UAE visas are available on arrival for 90 days to citizens of these countries.

Argentina Norway
Barbados Paraguay
Austria Estonia
Belgium France
Belarus Finland
Brazil Greece
Bulgaria Germany
Chile Honduras
Croatia Hungary
Costa Rica Slovakia
Czech Republic Solomon Islands
Cyprus Slovenia
Denmark Spain
El Salvador South Korea
Iceland Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Latvia Sweden
Israel Poland
Liechtenstein Romania
Libya Portugal
Lithuania San Marino
Luxembourg Russia
Maldives Serbia
Montenegro Seychelles
Malta Switzerland
Netherlands Uruguay

Those who do not meet these conditions must apply and obtain a valid Dubai visa before arriving in Dubai.

Getting a Dubai visa 

There are a few crucial points to understand before applying for a Dubai visa. 

  • For your tourism visit, determine if a Dubai visa is required. You do not need to fill up a Dubai tourist visa application online and go through cumbersome paperwork if your nationality allows you to enter Dubai with a visa on arrival. The only requirements are your passport and return flight tickets which you show at the immigration check to get a tourist visa on arrival for the specified duration. Should you not be eligible for a visa on arrival, proceed to the next step.
  • Check if your passport has a validity of at least six months after you arrive in Dubai. If it does not, expect a visa denial. Also, make sure you have no other valid UAE visa. In that case, you must cancel your existing UAE visa before applying for a new one. If all is good, decide what type of visa you intend to apply for.
  • You cannot obtain Dubai visas directly from UAE consulates abroad. An applicant for a Dubai visa must have a sponsor in the UAE who applies on their behalf. Dubai visa applicants must fill out the application online and send the documents to someone living in the UAE, who will forward the documents to the embassy. Visa sponsoring partners in the UAE can be close family, friends, employers, or acquaintances living in UAE. The sponsor of a Dubai visa can also be an airline, hotel, or travel agency. A sponsor must deposit a security amount on behalf of the applicant, which may increase the cost of your leisure trip. However, visa holders will have reimbursements once they exit the country.
  • Tourists visiting Dubai must have a confirmed ticket for their return flight home. To obtain a visa, you must provide this document, which indicates that once you have fulfilled the purpose of your trip, you intend to leave the country. In Dubai, overstaying a visa is a serious offense with severe consequences.
  • All documentary requirements should be in English. If not, get them translated to English before submission. Handwritten documents are not accepted.
  • To start the Dubai visa processing, you fill up the visa application form online and pay the fees. Refunds are not available for visa fees. Once you have gathered all your necessary documents, you can submit them to your UAE sponsor, who will take care of the rest. A Dubai tourist visa requires the following documents:
    • A copy of your passport and the original
    • Recent passport size photographs in color according to visa guidelines
    • Return flight confirmation.
    • Financial details, such as bank details and salary slips, to prove you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Dubai
    • A letter with residential proof from your UAE sponsor 
    • Dubai holiday itinerary
    • Health and travel insurance
  • Maintain additional documents, such as vaccination certificates, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and special prescriptions. After that, all you have to do now is wait for your visa results. 

Dubai visa approval and rejection

Usually, approval of Dubai visas takes between 5 and 7 working days. If possible, apply for a Dubai visa as soon as you can. Being early with your Dubai visa application will increase the likelihood of a hassle-free process. Again, your Dubai visa application must be error-free and filled out (completely) if you want a good chance of approval. Documents should also reflect and support the information you provide in your application – even spelling errors and mismatched names or other details can prevent you from receiving a Dubai visa. If you submit falsified or inaccurate requirements, visa denial is highly probable. On the other hand, if all your documents indicate that you will visit Dubai and return to your country after your visit, Dubai visa rejection is highly unlikely. 


It is that simple to acquire a Dubai visa when you know what to do. As long as all your documentation and details demonstrate clarity in every aspect, applying for a Dubai visa is pretty straightforward. The best way to apply for a Dubai visa is to have a thorough knowledge of the visa requirements and consult an expert. Get a Dubai visa today and explore one of the world’s most incredible destinations. 

The above post is contributed by Neha Singh, a travel blogger by profession. She loves traveling and is an avid trekker and explorer. She has done her post-graduation in Mass Communication, loves meeting new people and strongly believes in the Gandhian principle – ‘Simple living, high thinking’.

You can find some of her other works below:

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