The United Arab Emirates were among the first ones to open up for travel. Thanks to the strict regulations and introduced bonuses for vaccinated tourists, they have successfully managed to launch a new system for visitors that works. Learning about the health and safety restrictions as well as what travelling to the UAE during COVID times will look like is the best thing you can do for yourself and the coming vacation.
COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Requirements
Doesn't matter if you're transiting, going for a business trip or a family holiday, certain rules must be obeyed for you to safely cross the UAE borders. As long as you follow them, you won't get bothered by the immigration officers.
Visitors coming to the Emirates should:
- Bring a translated PCR test taken no earlier than 48-72 hours before the trip
- Follow the safety measures: wear gloves, masks and sanitize frequently
- Pass an express PCR test on arrival
- Carry the issued QR-code on you at all times once issued
- If vaccinated, bring a translated certificate along with you (perks for vaccinated visitors apply)
Persons from certain countries with high levels of COVID infections are still not allowed for entry. Exceptions apply, but those cases require a much more difficult procedure.
Getting a Tourist Visa to the UAE
You could choose the services of a travel agent to help you sort out the documents, but the actual process of putting them together isn't all that complicated. Here's what you need to apply:
- A valid passport
- Copy of your proof of identity documents: passport or a birth certificate for underage travellers
- A correctly filled-in visa application
- Payment confirmation of $350AED (for single entry no more than 30 days)
- Travel itinerary and booked flight tickets
- Hotel reservation receipt is recommended
- A high-quality photo for the UAE tourist visa
- Your bank statement with enough funds to cover your stay
Before applying, check on the official government portal if you need one to come to the UAE. Nationals of some countries can have a document issued on the spot at the airport. The visa then will be either a 96-hour transit permit or a short-term tourist visa. Otherwise, getting an e-visa before your travels is another option.
Types of Short-Term Stay Visas You Can Apply For
To get your visa issued fast it's important to apply for an appropriate document in the first place. The visas below should be no problem to acquire both for new and returning tourists:
1. Transit Visa
If you're travelling through the UAE and want to go out and explore a little instead of being stuck at the airport, you may want to issue the transit visa.
Depending on the length of your stayover there are two different transit permits you can get:
- 4-day Transit visa that will cost you 50 AED and is single-entry
- 48-hour Transit visa that is free of charge
Both can be issued at the airport.
2. Tourist Visa
A regular single-entry visa document can be provided both prior to your entry as an e-visa or on the spot. The cost for a 30-day tourist visa is $350AED and there's an option to extend your stay twice for additional price. You have to plan your trip so your inbound flight is within 60 days from the issue date.
3. Tourist Visa Multiple-Entry
Tourists that wish to travel in and out of the UAE more than once need a multiple-entry Tourist visa that costs $650AED. You mustn't overstay or the extra charges will apply. The overall length of your trip remains 30 days.
4. Service Visa
Those coming for work purposes, conferences and other business related reasons should obtain a Service visa. It will be single-entry, cost 400 AED and last for 14 days from first entry.
5. Long-Term Tourist Visa
A Long-Term tourist visa will allow you to remain and travel freely in the UAE for 90 days straight. Pay the 1000 AED fee, get your vaccines in order and prepare for a luxurious time.
6. Long-Term Tourist Visa Multiple-Entry
To travel in and out during the period of 90 days you must apply for a Multiple-Entry visa. You can enter and leave as often as you'd like as long as you first arrive within 60 days since issuing the document.
Staying safe as you explore the UAE or any other destination of choice must be the priority for anyone that wants to continue exploring the world as they would if COVID was no problem. Educate yourself via the WHO official website and check in with those accompanying you to report if any health concern arises.