Documents to travel to the United Arab Emirates

Asia is one of the continents with the greatest tourist potential. Fortunately, in recent decades this quality has increased, thanks to countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This nation, full of history and deep-rooted customs, is also one of the countries that invests the most in technology, which is why it has taken great steps towards modernity.

Today, it is the richest country in the Middle East. This position, added to its intention to move towards modernity, has allowed it to position itself among the main destinations where you can enjoy luxury tourism, incredible restaurants and unique experiences.

But do not be alarmed, it is not necessary to have a fortune in the banks to be able to know this nation. Although there are luxury hotels everywhere, you will also find more affordable accommodation options, which will make a satisfactory stay possible. And if you wonder what to do in the United Arab Emirates? Pay attention to the interesting list of options that we present below:

  • Visit the Zayed Mosque, an impressive temple, whose architecture will dazzle you.
  • Visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building ever built in the world.
  • Take a safari in the Liwa desert.
  • Enjoy a day at Jumeirah Beach, the most famous beach in Dubai.
  • Get to know The Palm Jumeirah, an impressive artificial island.
  • Take an excursion in the Rub al-Khali desert.
  • Tour the bike Al Qudra Cycle Track, an 86-kilometre cycle path.

And this is just a small sample of the hundreds of activities you can do in the UAE. Do not miss the opportunity to get to know it, in addition to its many attractions, you will find a culture full of riches and you will live a truly pleasant experience.

Requirements for the entry of tourists to the UAE

Because it is an international trip, the immigration authorities will require you to travel with certain documentation. Although conditions can be established depending on the place of origin, in general terms the requirements that you must meet are:

  • Passport legally issued and whose validity extends for at least six months from the date of entry into the country.
  • Visa, if applicable.
  • Round trip ticket or to a third destination.
  • Proof of sufficiency of funds to assume the expenses of the stay.
  • Reservation of accommodation or letter of invitation.

Although medical insurance is not a mandatory requirement for all travelers, it is advisable to have one. Likewise, it is advisable to check with the transport company, the rules on prohibited items.

General information about the tourist visa

The UAE visa regime varies depending on the nationality of foreigners entering the country. Based on it, the tourist can be exempt from a visa or obtain it upon arrival for a stay of 30 days or for up to three months. It is also possible that the request for the permit is required prior to the trip.

By virtue of the foregoing, citizens from member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are exempt from visa or other permission to enter the United Arab Emirates. For identification purposes, they only need to present a validly issued and current passport or national identity document. They also do not require traveling under the sponsorship of an Emirati or someone with permanent residence in the UAE.

On the other hand, there is a group of countries that, by virtue of international agreements, enjoy the benefit of visa on arrival. It can be granted for a stay of 30 days, extendable for 10 more days; or for a period of three months. From the official portal of the Emirati government, it is recommended to visit the following website in order to know who can opt for this permit:

A third group of foreigners has the obligation to apply for a pre-established visa, that is, processed prior to the trip. A particularity of the procedure is that, unlike most countries, in this case the service is not offered by embassies and consulates based in other nations. The only way to obtain it is through the management of a sponsor that is in Emirati territory.

Requirements to obtain a tourist visa

If after consulting with your airline or inquiring on the official web portals, it turns out that you must apply for an ordinary tourist visa, then you have to organize yourself well in advance. The first thing you will need is a sponsor to carry out the procedure for you, it can be:

  • An Emirati citizen.
  • A foreigner with permanent residence in the United Arab Emirates.
  • An airline that has a headquarters in the UAE.
  • A hotel or tourist agency operating in the UAE.
  • Some government entity.
  • A private company or belonging to the free zone.

Additionally, it is essential that you meet the following requirements:

  • Passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country.
  • Fill out the application form available here:
  • Recent color photograph.
  • Bank statements for the last six months, verifying the availability of USD 4,000 or its equivalent in local currency.
  • Round trip ticket.
  • Accommodation test.
  • Medical insurance valid in the UAE and whose coverage is broad enough to cover eventual health care expenses.
  • Not have been deported or banned from entering the UAE.

The cost of the procedure includes the payment of four concepts, namely: application fee, issuance fee, electronic services fee and a fee for the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority (ICA). In total, the value amounts to 650 AED (dirhams of the Arab Emirates).

Once issued, the visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of issue. Since the conditions to obtain it are subject to change, it is advisable to contact the official entities before starting the process, since, if the current requirements are not met, it will be denied. Some government portals with information in this regard are:

Entry conditions decreed due to COVID-19

One of the aspects that you must take into account before making a trip to the UAE is that each emirate has autonomy and, by virtue of it, establishes rules that may be different from those of the rest. Said independence also applies to the design of the biosafety protocols decreed due to COVID-19. However, below, we will explain the general requirements that you must meet:

  • PCR test with a negative result, taken within 72 or 48 hours prior to the trip, depending on the conditions established by each emirate.
  • Fill out the health form authorized by the corresponding emirate.
  • Download the mobile application developed by the emirate to which you are traveling.

In some cases, a PCR test may be carried out upon arrival at the airport. In others, it must be carried out on the sixth day following arrival in the country. If a positive result is obtained or symptoms are evident without the person being vaccinated, the authorities will order isolation. In the case of Dubai, it is mandatory to have travel insurance that covers the expenses derived from a possible contagion by COVID-19.

Remember that this information may change at any time, since these conditions are due to the levels of contagion registered in the country. So, before your trip, check with your airline what health requirements you must meet.

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Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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