Do I Need A Visa For Abu Dhabi From Uk

Are you a UK resident that wishes to visit Abu Dhabi? Find out if you need a visa and where to get one. Overview You are a resident of the UK or just visiting, and you wish to check out the UAE’s capital city. Abu Dhabi is located in the country of the same name which is different from the one right next door – Dubai. Wherever your reason for wishing to visit, we´ll make it easy for you to do so. We’ll guide you through all the visa processes as well as provide some useful tips about travelling to Abu Dhabi.

If you are a citizen of UK, living or planning to live in Abu Dhabi then one of your main concerns will be ‘Do I need a visa for Abu Dhabi from UK?’. All potential visitors to the UAE should know if they need a visa. This article clearly explains who needs an UAE visa and the appropriate documentation required. We will base our discussion today on – Do I Need A Visa For Abu Dhabi From Uk. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: abu dhabi new rules for entry today and do i need a visa for dubai

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Do I Need A Visa For Abu Dhabi From Uk

Cruise ships

A small number of cruise operators have restarted calls into some ports in the UAE. You should talk to your cruise operator about arranging COVID-19 PCR testing if necessary.

If you are planning to travel on an international cruise that is due to call at any port in the UAE, contact your travel company for the latest information.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

You should consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the UAE. If you hold a residence permit, your passport must be valid for at least 3 months in order to travel to the UAE.

If you’re transiting the UAE (and not passing through Immigration) your passport only needs to have a minimum of 3 months validity from the date of transit.


Holders of full British passports will be granted a free of charge visitor/tourist visa upon arrival in the UAE. No application in advance of travel is needed. Your passport will be stamped with the visa as you pass through Immigration. The visa issued at the airport for British passport holders is valid for 30 days.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) has a visa hotline: +971 (0)9 208 3344.

If you have any questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, contact UAE Immigration directly. You can find out further information about visas on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website for Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website for the rest of the UAE.

If you’re living outside the UAE, contact the nearest UAE Embassy for advice.

All individuals who wish to remain in the UAE beyond the validity of their visa must contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website for Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website for the rest of the UAE well in advance or they may be subject to fines for overstaying.

Living and working in the UAE

If you have entered Dubai on a visit visa and you wish to work then you should get a probationary work permit, valid for up to 3 months, from the Ministry of Labour. If you don’t get this permit and are caught working while on a visit visa, then you risk being jailed or fined and deported.

For further information, including on how to stay in the UAE for longer than 60 days, visit the websites of the UAE Embassy in London, the Naturalisation and Residency Department – Dubai or the UAE Federal E-Government Portal.

If you apply for a residence visa, you will have to take a blood test. Those testing positive for HIV or hepatitis are detained and then deported. There is no appeal process.

UAE employers may ask foreign employees to deposit their passports with the company as part of the terms and conditions of employment. While this is not an unusual practice, it is illegal under UAE labour law.

You should cancel your work visa before leaving the UAE permanently. If you don’t do this, you risk being reported as an absconder and could be arrested if you return to the UAE, even if you are in transit to another country. Failure to repay debts or resolve any outstanding cases against you may also result in your arrest on return or transit through the UAE.

If you have any doubt about your status before returning to the UAE seek advice from a local lawyer.


If you’re planning to travel with any prescribed or over the counter medicines for personal use, you’ll need to meet the UAE’s specific requirements for your medicine to be allowed into the country.

If you’re entering the country with medication that the UAE classes as narcotic, psychotropic, controlled or semi-controlled, approval is needed from the UAE authorities.

Approval should be requested in advance. To gain approval prior to travelling, you can apply for a permit online using the electronic application form on the UAE Ministry of Health website. The UAE authorities advise that applications are normally processed within 5 working days.

If you arrive in the UAE without prior approval or the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the UAE and you may be prosecuted under UAE law. If you need more information on controlled medicines or the process for obtaining permission, you should contact the UAE Ministry of Health by emailing or calling +971 800 11111.

If you’re travelling in transit through a UAE airport and do not intend entering the UAE, or are entering the UAE with other types of medicine, you’re not required to go through this approval process.

In all cases, there are limits on the amount of medication that can be brought into the UAE legally. The Ministry of Health advise that you can bring up to 3 months’ supply of medication as a visitor, reduced to one month’s supply if the medication is included in the list requiring approval.

Previous travel to Israel

UAE immigration authorities have advised that British nationals with valid or expired Israeli visas or stamps in their passports should not face any difficulties entering the UAE as long as they don’t intend to work. If you do intend to work, further checks may be required and there is a risk that entry may be refused.

If you are a British-Israeli dual national and have any concerns about entering the UAE, contact the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in London.

Regular exit requirements

Visitors must have legal status in the UAE when they depart. If you are subject to a travel ban, involved in legal proceedings, have unpaid debt or are a child subject to a custody dispute, you may be prevented from leaving the country.

Thermal scanning is in operation at airports. Departing passengers may be subject to testing, quarantine and medical treatment in the UAE.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for airside transit and exit from the United Arab Emirates, but not for entry into the UAE. If you are requesting an ETD to leave the UAE, you must check with UAE Immigration which documents you will need to present to leave the UAE. This will depend on the circumstances and you should allow time to do this. If your passport has been lost or stolen you will need to obtain a police report from a local police station. It can take a number of days to complete this process and you may need to reschedule your flight. In Dubai, you may be able to obtain a police report for your lost passport through the Dubai Police website. If you experience difficulties with this process, you can obtain the required document by visiting your nearest police station.


united-arab-emirates-visa-imageCitizens of the UK who hold a British citizen passport do need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

But the good news is that you can get a visa on arrival (VOA) after landing at the airport when you are entering the nation for tourism, transit, or business purposes.

A UAE visit VOA arrives with a maximum stay period of up to 30 days. Once you exit the country, your visa is automatically terminated. 

This means that you cannot use the same visa to re-enter UAE, even if it is still valid. You need to obtain a fresh VOA every time you seek to enter UAE borders.

If you wish to extend your stay in UAE, you can apply for an extension twice, while you are within the country’s borders. Each extension allows you an additional stay period of 30 days.

For further help, you should contact the UAE Immigration in Dubai (04-3980000) or in Abu Dhabi (02-4024500).

Passport requirements for availing a Visa on Arrival

Once you land in the UAE, you will need to present your passport for stamping the Visa on It should hold a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of entry into the UAE, provided your purpose of the trip is related to business or tourism. Remember that your passport should also have at least two blank pages for visa stamping.

However, if you are entering the nation only for transit and you do not have to pass through immigration, your passport can have a validity of 3 months.

Again, if you have a valid UK residence permit, your passport must have a minimum validity of 3 months from your date of arrival in the UAE.

Note: If your passport specifies another category of British nationalities such as British Overseas Citizen or British National Overseas, you shall need to obtain a visa from the nearest UAE Embassy before traveling to the UAE.

Additional requirements for obtaining a VOA at UAE airports

Just like the common requirements for availing a visa on arrival in any country, you need to carry certain mandatory documents to obtain one in the UAE as well. These include:

  • Proof of sufficient funds, which ensure that you have the required means to support your stay in the country. You can present this evidence in the form of cash, cards, or recent bank statements.
  • Remember to carry originals or copies of your onward/return airline tickets.
  • You may be asked to present proof that specifies the purpose of your trip.
  • Required documentation for the next destination

Confirm with your airline, before you travel, if they allow boarding without a visa. Sometimes, regulations change and you may not be aware of the new rules. A simple confirmation goes a long way in avoiding any unwelcome surprises after all your travel plans are final.

Seeking employment in the UAE

Do note that you are not allowed to engage in any remuneration-generating work on a visit visa on arrival. What you can do is, first enter the country on a VOA. Next, you can apply for a probationary work permit with the Ministry of Labour. This permit comes with a validity of 3 months and allows you to stay up to 60 days.

If you fail to follow this mandatory requirement and are discovered working on an ordinary visit visa, you may be jailed, fined, or even deported.

If you wish to extend your stay in the UAE beyond the granted period of 60 days, you need to contact the UAE Consulate in London, the Naturalisation and Residency Department in Dubai or visit the website of the UAE Federal E-Government Portal.

Another method of working in the UAE on a long-term basis is to apply for a residence visa once you enter the border on a visit VOA.

After you obtain the visa, you may be asked by your UAE employer to submit your passport with the company. 

You may find this clause as part of the terms and conditions of employment. However, this is illegal and you can appeal to the Labour Department if such an incident happens in your case.

Note: All applications for a residence visa require a blood test. If you are tested positive for HIV, you shall be detained and eventually deported.

Once your said employment period is over, please ensure that you cancel your work visa before departing the UAE permanently. Failure to do so has severe penalties. You can be deported on the grounds that you are an absconder or arrested during your next entry into the country. Additionally, prior to exiting the country, even if you are in transit, remember to repay all your debts and resolve any ongoing cases against you. You must display your legal status in the UAE when you depart. If you are facing a case for a travel ban, legal proceedings, unpaid debts, or custody dispute, you can be refused exit from the UAE.

Medication Requirements

UAE immigration officials follow strict rules when it comes to the intake of medications. If you carry prescribed or over the counter medicines, you have to follow the UAE’s rules on whether these drugs are allowed within its borders.

Certain medications are classified by the UAE as narcotic, psychotropic, controlled or semi-controlled. If your drugs fall under any of these categories, you need to obtain prior approval from UAE authorities. 

You can find a complete list of these regulates on the website for the UAE Ministry of Health.

It is advised that you get this approval in advance via an electronic application form available on the UAE Ministry of Health website. If you do not carry this approval, you shall need to present relevant documents. Sometimes, approval is not guaranteed after arrival and worse still, you might have to face prosecution under UAE law.

There are also limits on the number of medications allowed into the country. If your medicines do not fall under the classification above, you can bring a supply of 3 months. Otherwise, this quantity is reduced to a supply of 1 month.

Rules to be followed if you have previously traveled to Israel

If you have formerly visited Israel and your passport contains Israeli visas or stamps, you can enter the UAE if you are not traveling for work-related activities. If it is the latter, you will be subjected to further checks.

British nationals holding dual nationality of Israeli citizenship can sometimes be refused entry into the nation.

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