Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a bridge between the East and West. It’s known for its modern architecture, luxurious accommodations and vibrant mix of cultures. Millions of travelers visit Dubai every year for business, fun or both. It’s also possible for many individuals to move to Dubai due to its strong economy, job opportunities and higher living standards. If you want to find out if you need a visa for Dubai, then this article is for you!In todays world, many people move abroad to live in UAE or Dubai without realising they need a visa. There are many countries that don’t need visa to go to Dubai and the UAE. This article will help you find out if you need a visa.
Are you traveling to Dubai and need a visa? In most cases, yes. Fortunately, obtaining a tourist visa for Dubai is relatively simple and straightforward. I’ll outline the process below with direct links, just in case you want to apply then and there.
Does Uk Need Visa For Dubai
COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice, and all travellers to the UAE are strongly encouraged to check the specifics before departure with their airline before they travel. Further details are available on British Airways, Emirates and Etihad websites.
With effect from 26 February, travellers to the UAE do not need to take a COVID-19 PCR test before they travel if they are fully vaccinated or:
- They hold a COVID-19 recovery certificate with a QR code dated within 30 days of departure
- They are under 16 years of age for arrivals in Abu Dhabi or under 12 years of age for arrivals in Dubai
- They have severe disabilities
Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in the UAE must still have a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken no more than 48 hours before departure, and present the certificate at check in if they are not fully vaccinated and do not hold a COVID-19 recovery certificate.
Travellers transiting the UAE will need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test if a test is required at their final destination.
Travellers arriving in the UAE may be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and travellers arriving in Dubai will have to isolate pending the result of the COVID-19 PCR test.
If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival, depending on your symptoms and your accommodation plans, you may be required to self-isolate in a government facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately arranged accommodation for at least 10 days. The only type of COVID-19 test result that is recognised by the UAE authorities is a COVID-19 PCR test. Other test results including antibody tests are not accepted.
Further information about COVID-19 updates is available on the UAE Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates webpage and on the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority website. Further information about testing facilities in the UAE is available on the UAE Government Portal. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
If you’re fully vaccinated
There are different rules depending on where in the United Arab Emirates you are travelling to.
Entry to Abu Dhabi if you’re fully vaccinated
Vaccination is not a condition of entry.
Entry to Dubai if you’re fully vaccinated
Further information about what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Emirates Airline website.
Visitors must have international health insurance before travelling.
All visitors to Dubai must adhere to all public health measures issued by the Dubai authorities including any requirements to quarantine.
If you’re not fully vaccinated
There are different rules depending on where in the United Arab Emirates you are travelling to.
Entry to Abu Dhabi if you’re not fully vaccinated
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must take a PCR test 48 hours before your flight to Abu Dhabi, and it’s optional for you to take a PCR test when you arrive at the airport. You may not be permitted to enter public places in Abu Dhabi if you are not fully vaccinated. Further information is available on the Etihad Airlines website.
Entry to Dubai if you’re not fully vaccinated
With effect from 26 February unvaccinated travellers from the UK to Dubai may be required to have a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. Further information is available on the Emirates Airlines website.
Residents of Dubai
Further information about what returning Dubai residents need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Emirates Airline website.
If you’re transiting through UAE
If you are transiting through the UAE to a country that requires a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, then you must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test before travelling.
In all circumstances, the test must be a COVID-19 PCR. Other test results including antibody tests are not accepted.
If you are transiting through Dubai
Transit passengers from some countries are required to conduct a COVID-19 PCR test prior to departure for Dubai. The pre-travel test is also mandatory for transit passengers if their destination country requires them to do so. Further information is available on the Dubai Media Office website.
Children under 12 years arriving in Dubai or under 16 years arriving in Abu Dhabi and individuals with official exemptions do not need to take a PCR test upon arrival. Further information is available on the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
Children under the age of 12 arriving in Dubai or under the age of 16 arriving in Abu Dhabi and those with severe and moderate disabilities will be exempted from the test requirement.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (ETDs) are not valid for entry into the United Arab Emirates but are accepted for airside transit and exit from the UAE. If you are requesting an ETD to leave the UAE, you should approach UAE Immigration to obtain an ‘out-pass’. If you are a UAE resident using an ETD, your visa might be cancelled and you will need to reapply for a new residency visa on your new Full Validity Passport if you wish to return to the UAE. This includes Golden visas. You should check with Immigration in the Emirate where your visa was issued, before completing the ETD application.
If your passport has been lost or stolen you will need to obtain a police report through the Dubai Police website application or from a local police station in other Emirates. Allow enough time, as it could take a number of days to receive the lost report which might delay your travel plans.
If your destination is not the UK, you will need proof of residency for your destination country. An emergency travel document does not grant you entry. You are responsible for checking you have the correct documents to enter the country.