Dubai: If you plan to make the UAE your holiday destination for the Eid or summer break, you will need to sort out your tourist visa. Depending on your nationality, you can either be eligible for a visa on arrival or apply for a tourist visa through a travel agency or airline.
However, if this is your first time visiting the UAE, and you do not know where and how to start your tourist visa application process, here is all you need to know about the different types of visas available, their cost, and application process.
What are the types of tourist visas available in the UAE?
1. 30-day tourist visa
2. 30-day multiple entry visa
3. 90-day tourist visa
4. 90-day multiple entry visa
5. Five-year multiple entry visa
Besides tourist visas, you may also consider a transit visa, if you are in the UAE for a few days because of a stopover. You can apply for a 48-hour visa or a 98-hour visa. Read the details here.
Does everyone need to apply for a tourist visa?
According to the UAE’s official government portal – u.ae – tourist visa is for those who are not eligible for visa-on-arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE. Visa on arrival is available to citizens and residents of certain countries, as well as other categories of passengers. For a detailed guide on who can get a visa on arrival, click here.
How to apply for a tourist visa
There are different ways in which you can get a tourist visa to the UAE:
UAE-based airlines also provide the option to passengers to apply for a tourist visa. However, it is important to note that if you apply for a tourist visa through an airline, you must book a ticket with them.
2. Travel agencies
Licensed travel agents in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you provided you purchase the ticket through them.
If you are applying for a tourist visa from your home country, you can contact your local travel agency for any packages. Additionally, it is important to check the authenticity of travel agents before you start dealing with. If you want to know if the agency you are using is legitimate, you can seek the help of the UAE embassy in your country for verification.
Hotels in the UAE can also apply for your tourist visa, provided that you have made a hotel reservation with them.
4. Amer centres or ICP
If you have family members living in the UAE, they can apply for a tourist visa for you, too. UAE residents sponsoring tourists in the UAE can apply through
5. The website or app of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP).
“UAE residents planning to issue a tourist visa for a family member will need to provide documents proving their residency in the UAE, such as tenancy contract, salary certificate and proof of accommodation, if the tourist is living with them during the stay in the UAE,” Subair Thekkepurath Valappil, a senior manager at Regal Tours Worldwide, said.
6. Typing centres
Typing centre in the UAE can also facilitate the process for applying for a tourist visa. Your family member or friend can apply for your tourist visa thorugh a typing centre as well by providing the following documents:
• Sponsor’s Emirates ID
• Your passport copy
• Your photograph
• Sponsor’s tenancy contract
• Sponsor’s salary certificate
• Sponsor’s proof of accommodation, if tourist is staying with them.
What documents do I need for a tourist visa for the UAE?
Single and multiple entry:
According to Valappil, whether you are applying for a single or multiple entry visa, you need to submit the following documents:
• A valid passport copy, with the passport valid for at least six months
• A photograph with a white background
• Travel insurance: “When applying for a tourist visa it is always important to have medical insurance, but if you are applying through an agency, there is no need for you to apply for one separately, it will already be included in your tourist visa package,” Valappil said.
When applying for a tourist visa it is always important to have medical insurance, but if you are applying through an agency, there is no need for you to apply for one separately, it will already be included in your tourist visa package.
Five year multiple entry visa:
If you regularly visit the UAE for business purposes or you have family and friends in the UAE, you can apply for a five-year multiple entry visa. The five-year multiple entry visa was introduced in March 2021, by the UAE cabinet.
If you plan on applying, you will need the following documents:
• Passport copy
• Passport sized photograph with a white background
• Travel insurance
• Bank statement for six months showing a minimum balance of $4,000 (approximately Dh14,692) or an equivalent amount.
What is the validity period of a tourist visa?
A single-entry visa is issued for 30 or 90 days. According to Valappil, holders of the visa get a 10 day additional grace period after the visa validity ends, to exit the UAE.
The five-year visa enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days, according to u.ae.
How do I extend my tourist visa?
If you want a few more weeks to explore the UAE, you can extend your tourist visa.
“If you are planning to extend your visa, you must do it before your current tourist visa expires,” Nissar Pattambi, managing partner at Mihran Tours and Travels, told Gulf News.
Documents required for tourist visa extension:
• Current tourist visa copy
• Valid passport copy
• Passport visa Photograph
What is the cost of a tourist visa?
According to Pattambi, these are the approximate costs of tourist visas in the UAE:
For single entry:
• 30 days – Dh330
• 90 days – Dh720
• 30 days – Dh749
• 90 days – Dh1,799
If you are planning to extend your visa, you must do it before your current tourist visa expires.
How long does it take to issue a tourist visa?
“A tourist visa takes approximately two to three days to issue. However, some travel agencies can process a tourist visa in 24 hours but that is an express service and it has additional charges.” Pattambi said.
Overstayed in the UAE? You could face fines
Not exiting the UAE when your visa expires, or not extending it within the stipulated time, can lead to overstay fines being levied on you. To know more about overstay fines, read our detailed guide here.