Does Abu Dhabi Need Transit Visa?

If you are passing through one of the emirate’s airports on your way to another location, you might need to apply for a visa.

Based on your nationality, you might need to apply for a UAE Transit Visa if you plan to make a getaway in the UAE to travel to a third location.

The good news is that applying for a UAE stopover visa is a simple procedure. Travellers just need a comprehensive guide to Abu Dhabi transit, including all the rules and regulations.

Are you thinking about exploring your trip with a stopover in Abu Dhabi?

Let’s examine how foreigners can pertain for a UAE transit visa, the qualifications, the paperwork needed, and more.

Transit Visa in Dubai/Abu Dhabi

You won’t need a transit visa in Abu Dhabi if the transit lasts no more than 4 hours. If you intend to leave the airport during your brief stay in the Emirates require a visa. A transit visa is valid for either 48/ 96 hours.

A 48-hour visa cannot be extended to a 96-hour visa. Only airlines with a base in the UAE may sponsor transit visas, which must be handled and approved before entry. Transit visas of either variety cannot be renewed.

When You Require an Abu Dhabi Transit Visa?

You require a transit visa if your country is not one of those that qualify for visa-on-arrival or visa-free entrance to Abu Dhabi. Transiting in Abu Dhabi, or any other UAE emirate requires a visa if:

  • Your onward flight is within the next 48 or 96 hours.
  • You are not free from UAE tourist visas or ineligible for a UAE visa on arrival.
  • You lack a passport from a country that is on the UAE visa upon arrival or a visa-free entry list.
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You also need a transit visa if you do not belong to one of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations that are exempt from the UAE tourist visa requirement.

Dubai Transit Visa exemptions

You can enter Abu Dhabi with just your passport or ID if you are from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman as these nations have freedom of movement in UAE. So, these countries are exempt from the Dubai Transit Visa requirement.

If you are a citizen of one of the nations listed below, you are eligible to enter Abu Dhabi or any other city of UAE visa-free for up to 90 days to 180 days:

  1. Honduras
  2. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  3. Montenegro
  4. Norway
  5. Russia
  6. Switzerland
  7. Iceland, or Liechtenstein

You can visit the UAE visa-free for up to 90 days if you’re from one of the following nations.

  1. Argentina
  2. Nauru
  3. Paraguay
  4. Serbia
  5. Chile
  6. Seychelles
  7. Uruguay
  8. Solomon Islands,
  9. Barbados, or Brazil

You are not required to have a visa to enter the UAE for up to 30 days if you are a citizen of China, Japan, Macau or Ukraine. Don’t apply in advance for a UAE transit visa if you are from one of the following nations, as you can obtain a visa on arrival for Dubai alongside every other UAE emirate:

  1. Andorra
  2. Australia
  3. Brunei
  4. Ireland
  5. Kazakhstan
  6. Bahamas
  7. El Salvador
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Malaysia
  10. Maldives
  11. New Zealand
  12. San Marino
  13. Singapore
  14. Canada
  15. Costa Rica
  16. Mauritius
  17. Monaco
  18. Mongolia
  19. South Korea
  20. United Kingdom
  21. United States, or Vatican City

Somalian, Afghan, Iraqi, Niger and Yemeni nationals are not eligible to apply for a UAE transit visa. To find out if you qualify for a visa upon arrival or not, visit the official website.

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How to Obtain a Transit Visa for Abu Dhabi?

The airports in Abu Dhabi offer complimentary 48-hour transit visas to travellers. The visa must be requested in advance via an Abu Dhabi-based airline. It’s easy to get a transit visa in Abu Dhabi and is valid only once.

You must leave Abu Dhabi within 48 hours of arriving because the visa is only good for 48 minutes from the point of entry. 2 types of transit passes are 48-hour and 96-hour transit visas with a validity of 3 months.

Who May Submit a Transit Visa Application?

Only the UAE-based airlines you are flying with can make arrangements for your transit visa in advance of your trip. If you booked your trip through a travel agency, the agency may also be able to assist you in obtaining the visa.

However, all visas must go through the airline. The following methods are available for airline agents to use when applying online for transit visas:

  • e-Channels website
  • Apple and Android apps for ICA UAE e Channels
  • Online resources provided by the appropriate General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)

Specific Documents for a Transit Visa

You must present your confirmed hotel reservation or proof of residency if you are visiting a friend or similar if your transportation is longer than 24 hours.

When you apply for a UAE transit visa, your airline will need the following paperwork from you:

  • Your passport (At least three more months validity)
  • Passport-size pictures that comply with the UAE visa photo requirements
  • Flight ticket for a subsequent trip to a different country.
  • Hotel reservations in the UAE
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On the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), you will be able to find out the current status of your request for a transit visa to Dubai.

Keep your security in mind after you’ve submitted the paperwork.

Transit Visa Fee in Abu Dhabi

Any federal, local, or private entity is not allowed to impose any fees/extra costs. Travellers transiting through airlines of the UAE are granted free transit visas valid for 48 hours.

  • Transit visa for 48 Hours: Free
  • UAE 96-hour visa:AED 50

You will also be required to pay a 30 AED exit fee. The 48- and 96-hour transportation visas are not renewable or extendable. Every moment you make a halt in the UAE, you must apply for a transit visa.


If you have more time than 4 hours, you might want to consider departing the airport and visiting a few of Abu Dhabi’s well-known tourist destinations.

You can stay in the United Arab Emirates for up to 14 days with just a transit visa. You will need to show proof of an onward flight if your third stop on this trip is a transit point.

So, get a transit visa and recuperate your energy by getting some rest, shopping until you drop, indulging in a leisurely meal, or if you prefer, just relaxing in airport lounges.


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