Does Dubai Need Transit Visa?

Despite not visiting Dubai, you will need a transit visa if your flight involves a stopover for up to 8 hours. The same applies to another transit in any of the United Arab Emirate’s cities.

So, what is a transit visa, and how important is it? Is it always compulsory, or are there exceptions? How can I acquire one, and what do I need?

Will it cost me to get a transit visa, and if so, how much? Here are the answers to all these questions and much more. Read on!

About the UAE Transit Visa

As the name suggests, a transit visa is an entry permit you need when traveling from one destination to another but will stop in Dubai or any other part of the UAE. A single-entry visa is usually available if your stay in Dubai during transit exceeds 8 hours.

Types of UAE Transit Visa

There are two types of UAE transit visas. They are as follows;

48-hour Transit Visa

It applies if the stopover period in Dubai or UAE generally ranges from 8 to 48 hours. Ensure you apply for the appropriate one since you won’t get even an extra hour once 48 hours lapse.

The 48-hour transit visa is a single-entry transit visa. Ensure you apply one at a time appropriate, depending on your country of origin.

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96-hours Transit Visa

On the other hand, the 96-hour transit visa is the most appropriate if your stopover time is more than 48 hours but doesn’t exceed 96 hours. Again, you won’t get any extension hence the need to leave UAE before the 96 hours ends.

It is also a single-entry visa. Again, the time you apply and whether you need it depends on your nationality.

Do You Need a Transit Visa to Transit in Dubai?

Interestingly, not all travelers need a transit visa to stop in Dubai. The ones who need it are the following;

  • A non-citizen of the GCC region’s countries hence not exempted from entering UAE using a visa
  • Travelers who don’t hail from countries exempted from using tourists visas to enter UAE or ineligible for one upon arrival
  • When your next flight is in the next 48 or 96 hours

Despite meeting the above conditions, the citizens of the following countries can’t apply for a UAE transit visa;

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Niger
  • Somalia
  • Yemen

Who is Eligible for a Transit Visa?

You must meet certain conditions to qualify for a transit visa in Dubai. They include the following;

  • For a transit extending a 24-hour period, you must submit a hotel booking confirmation.
  • Alternatively, submit residence proof of the friend or family member hosting you over that period.
  • It is also important to have an onward flight between UAE and another destination that’s within the period
  • Lastly, you should be a holder of a valid passport

Which Documents Do You Need to Apply for a Transit Visa

Before starting the transit visa application process, ensure that you have the following documents;

  • Your confirmed tickets for relevant flights, such as the one to UAE and its onward counterpart
  • 2 passport photos and ensure that they are identical with a white background
  • Colored passport copies
  • A valid passport whose validity should be at least 6 months from the date of your flight
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How Do You Apply for a Transit Visa?

It is worth noting that there is only one route when applying for a transit visa in UAE. You can only apply one via an airline based in this country.

Nevertheless, you can get assistance from a travel agency. It doesn’t mean you will apply via the agents, but they will make the application on your behalf.

Regardless of applying directly or using a travel agency, your visa is routed via the airline. You can’t enter UAE until its processing and approval are over.

Airline agents use various modes to apply. The options include the following;

  • General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) online portals and every emirate has one, and Dubai is no exception
  • eChannels portal
  • ICA UAE eChannels app

How Much Does a UAE Transit Visa Cost?

The amount of money you pay depends on the type of transit visa you apply for. If it is a 48-hour transit visa, you won’t spend even a dime to acquire it.

However, it changes from 0 to AED 50 when applying for a 96-hour transit visa. There is also an additional cost of AED 30, a departure fee, regardless of the transit visa you go for.

Other than that, you shouldn’t spend any other money in the name of a transit visa. After all, that’s all that the UAE charges for the service.

Things UAE Transit Visa Holders Should Remember

When it comes to the transit visa, remember the following for an easy time traveling;

Before Leaving for Dubai

  • The transit visa is a crucial travel document hence the need to print it out, not forgetting to carry it with you
  • However, it is not enough since you also need other travel documents, including your identification documents and passports
  • Ensure that the time you plan to stay in Dubai doesn’t exceed the validity period of your transit visa
  • Remember the criminality of staying in UAE after the visa has already expired
  • Failure to adhere to that rule could lead to penal action, and you may also incur a huge penalty
  • It is advisable to carry your UAE transit visa upon applying through a Dubai-based airline
  • If you have a 48-hour transit visa, ensure that you travel in the next 14 days after its issuance date
  • On the other hand, if you have a 96-hour transit visa, ensure that you travel in the next 30 days after its issuance date
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While at the Dubai Border

  • Having a transit visa isn’t a guarantee to entering UAE
  • So, if Dubai’s border control decides not to let you enter, that decision is final
  • The border control expects you to show your passport and visa before letting you enter Dubai
  • An onward journey ticket is yet another requirement

After Arriving in Dubai

  • You are obliged to respect any tradition or custom of the UAE citizens
  • Despite being strict, adhere to the laws set aside by the administration
  • Extending your transit visa is impossible
  • Feel free to attend any business conference or meeting as a transit visa holder
  • However, don’t make the mistake of working in Dubai if you only have the transit visa
  • The transit visa allows you to explore Dubai and the other emirates of the UAE country


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