As with almost any country: whether you can enter the United Arab Emirates – and thus Dubai, without a visa strongly depends on what passport you carry.
Citizens of the European Union, the United States and Canada can enter the country visa free and will be able to stay 30 to 90 days depending on the passport they present on arrival.
This means you do not need to request a visa in advance and will be able to get a free entry stamp on arrival.
Both tourists and business travellers need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months on arrival. Children will need their own passport.
When entering in one of the two airports in Dubai you will receive a visa entry stamp in your passport that is valid for all the emirates in the United Arab Emirates. This means you can perfectly travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah and all the other emirates.
If you do not carry a passport that grants you a free visa on arrival in Dubai you should contact the embassy or consulate of the UAE in your region to get more information on the application process. This application process can differ depending on your country of residence or the passport you carry. Please make sure you ask or research the relevant information.
I have compiled a lost of countries that receive a free visa on arrival when entering the United Arab Emirates. There are 2 kinds of visas: a 30-day visa and a 90-day visa. On a 30-day visa you are aloud to stay in the UAE for 30 days from when you enter the country. If you leave the country and come back within those 30 days you will get a new 30-day visa stamp in your passport. This means you can do visa-runs on a 30-day visa.
A 90-day visa is a bit more complicated as a 90-day visa allows you to stay in the United Arab Emirates for 90 days out of 190 days regardless the number of entries and exits. You cannot make any visa runs on this visa.
Countries granted 30-day visa-free visit for Dubai
- Hong Kong, China
- New Zealand
- People’s Republic of China
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- Verenigd Koninkrijk
- United States of America
- Vatican City
Countries granted a 90-day (every 180 days) visa free visit for Dubai
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
Note: If your country of origin or the country of which you have a passport is not on the list above, ask at the embassy or consulate of the UAE if a visa is required.
Applying for a work visa in Dubai
Many people dream of working in the United Arab Emirates. When you want to work in Dubai, however, you will need a work visa.
Work visas can only be applied for by your employer. This means that you will want to secure a job before you move to Dubai or you want to spend the length of your visa applying and going to job interviews.
What is a visitor visa?
In addition to the tourist visa and the work visa, there is one more visa variant, the visitor visa which is valid for 60 days from the date of issue and applies for a maximum stay of 90 days. With a visitor visa you must have a sponsor who is a resident of the United Arab Emirates or a company. This visa cannot be extended, you must leave the country after 90 days.