Does South Africa Need Visa For Dubai

If you are an avid traveler, and have been to Dubai, you would know exactly how amazing this city is. The rich culture and the architecture that it comes with is mesmerizing. There is nothing like visiting a new city and enjoying yourself. And according to our UAE visa expert, ‘ South Africa does not need visa for Dubai’. Now you wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun and excitement that Dubai has in store for you. If you already have a valid visa and residency permit in your name you can forget applying for South Africa visa.

This is the question that I found myself asking recently. As you may already be aware, I am living and working in Dubai as a mechanical engineer. Only last year, I came here to work as an expatriate for a firm based out of the UK who also employs people from other countries. The question about whether there is visa for South Africa especially in Dubai, really started to linger on my mind because it was all over social media that even Zimbabweans, who would normally have to apply for a South African visa could now travel directly to Dubai without the need of getting a visa. The only problem with this big announcement by South African Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba was that – it was a big fat lie! Hang on though… What he did do was announce a new Emirates visa service in Pretoria which would allow South Africans easier access where they could apply for their visas prior to departure.

Does South Africa Need Visa For Dubai

Visa is one of the leading companies that offers support to its users in every aspect. This firm has introduced many types of visa programs for different countries with the help of which people can travel abroad easily. If you are person who wants to move to Dubai or any other country for working purposes then it is mandatory for you have appropriate visa along with you.

South African passport holders need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates. Fortunately, this guide explains the entire process. The easiest way to apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is online via Emirates or Etihad. Alternatively, if you are flying with another airline, you must apply in person at the Dubai Visa Processing Centres (DVPC), also known as VFS Global, in South Africa. Processing time can take up to 7 working days.

Competition duration

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.


Type of visasHow to applyVisa costsVisa requirementsWhere to applyAdditional information

Types of Visas

96-hour Visa – if you are transiting through the UAE and your layover is at least 8 hours. It allows you to stay for up to 4 days in the UAE

Validity: 4 days from arrival

30-day Short-Term Visa – for regular tourist purposes. It allows you to stay for up to 30 days in the UAE

Validity: 30 days from arrival

Please note: That should you wish to visit the UAE more often and over multiple occasions, there are multiple-entry UAE visas valid for 3 months.

How to Apply

The earliest you can apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is 3 months before you travel. In the case of the 96-hour visa, we suggest applying about 2 weeks before travelling.

With Emirates/Etihad:

  1. Apply on the airline’s website
  2. For Emirates, use the “Manage your booking” tool (you will need your flight ticket and booking reference for this)
  3. Complete the online form
  4. Scan and upload all your required documents
  5. Pay the visa fee
  6. Receive your visa entirely online via email (no passport courier needed)

At the Dubai Visa Processing Centre:

  1. Make an appointment with your nearest DVPC
  2. Pay the application fee (via EFT or with a cash deposit at a branch)
  3. Take your required documents to be submitted (along with proof of payment)
  4. Complete the application form
  5. Track the status of your application
  6. If your application is successful, you will receive an SMS and email notifying you when your visa and passport are ready for collection

UAE Visa Costs

With Etihad/Emirates:

96-hour Visa :R202 to R445
30-day Short-Term Visa :R1,333 to R1,412

With VFS Global:

96-hour Visa :R610
30-day Short-Term Visa :R1475

The UAE authorities issued an electronic visa to facilitate the arrival of foreign visitors interested in short term stays for leisure and relaxation. The UAE, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi as its most important destinations, is a very popular choice for South Africans who visit the Gulf country every year.

The eVisa for the UAE is available via an online application platform. South African passport holders can submit their petition from the comfort of their home without needing an appointment at an embassy or consulate.

What Is the UAE Online Visa for South African Citizens?

The Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates publishes the visa policy for the UAE. South African travelers can apply for the Emirati electronic visa provided their holiday meets the following conditions:

  • They will visit the UAE for leisure and tourism only
  • Their stay will not exceed 30 days
  • They will only require a single entry into the country
  • They will enter the United Arab Emirates by one of its international airports only
  • They will reach the UAE within 60 days of their eVisa approval

South Africans who want to stay for over a month in the United Arab Emirates or have plans to relocate for business or employment opportunities must know the eVisa does not cover these activities. We recommend scheduling an appointment with the Embassy of the UAE in Pretoria for more suited visa options.

What Are The Requirements for a UAE Online Visa for South African Applicants?

Before initiating the eVisa request, we recommend learning about the visa requirements for South African nationals. These detail the countries they can visit with an online visa and what conditions they must meet.

The conditions for the Emirati eVisa for South Africans are standard for international travel and include the following:

  • Have a passport issued by the Republic of South Africa with a validity of 180 days on their entry into the UAE
  • Provide a digital image of their passport’s information page
  • Share a color id photo in digital format
  • Use a bank card to pay the eVisa processing fee
  • Register their eVisa petition with a frequently accessed email id

South Africans with a passport set to expire in 6 months of their intended arrival must submit it for renewal with their local authorities as soon as possible. They should take care that their digital documents are of readable quality, and the id photo is in color.

It is useful to register the eVisa application with an email address frequently used and to confirm the bank card that will be used to pay the processing fee is activated for internet payments.

Additionally, South African nationals planning a family trip to the UAE will have to share some supporting documents such as digital copies of their family or marriage certificate. They will be able to include their dependents (spouse, minors, or retired family members) in a joint request.

Finally, tourists from South Africa must have their travel itinerary planned beforehand. They will be required to share their Emirates flight number, port of entry, and arrival date.

Application Process for the Emirati eVisa from South Africa

The process for the electronic visa to visit the UAE is available via an online form. South African citizens will be required to provide the following personal details:

  • Full name
  • Nationality
  • Arrival date
  • Emirate they are flying to
  • Emirates flight details
  • Email address
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Religion
  • Current profession
  • Qualifications
  • Reason for travel

They will then share some information regarding their passport, such as the document number, issue, and expiry dates, plus the country of issuance. They will then proceed to upload digital copies of their required documents.

It is very important to review all the answers and documents provided carefully since any mistake or missing details could result in the rejection of their eVisa request.

South African nationals conclude the eVisa petition by paying the eVisa processing fee. The payment for the Emirati eVisa is actioned via a secure digital platform, and most international banking cards are authorized.

Processing Times for the Emirati eVisa Petitions by South African Travelers

The Ministry of Interior of the UAE reviews all the applications received by foreign visitors. South African citizens will receive a resolution to their request between 1 and 3 business days.

During busy touristic periods such as New Year,  trade fairs, or the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, the process could take slightly longer. We recommend applying at least a week before the intended arrival date in the UAE.

If South African applicants have submitted their eVisa forms correctly and meet the requirements, they will be issued an approved eVisa. The electronic visa will be available as a downloadable link in a confirmation email sent to their inbox. Upon receipt, we recommend printing out a copy and keeping it next to their travel documents.

Traveling to the UAE With the eVisa From South Africa

South African citizens are eligible to use the eVisa to enter South Africa upon issuance. They must remember their electronic visa expires after 2 months. If they do not use it to enter the country within this period, they will need a new one.

They must also confirm they reach the UAE via the same airport they include in their eVisa form. Once they land, we recommend they head straight to the queues reserved for eVisa travelers for visitors from South Africa to save time.

Upon reaching a border official, they must submit their passport and printed eVisa to be granted entry into the country.

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