United Arab Emirates Entry and Travel Requirements
The UAE entry requirements clearly state all the rules that one must follow to enter the UAE without any problem. These rules include the necessary documents that must be prepared before departure. Every traveler should remember to carry a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months from the intended date of entry into the United Arab Emirates. However, residence permit holders need a passport valid for 3 months.
Another equally important document required to travel to the UAE is a valid visa. The UAE visa policy identifies different visa requirements depending on the traveller's nationality, reason for visit or desired length of stay in the Emirates.
Currently, the UAE Visa Law stipulates that almost all GCC member states can travel freely, with the exception of Qatari passport holders. Certain other foreign nationals are also allowed to visit the UAE without a visa for varying periods of time.
Citizens of countries not on the visa exemption list must apply for the appropriate visa in advance of their planned trip. Depending on their nationality or reason for travel, they can apply for an e-visa, visa on arrival or embassy visa. Electronic visa application is the most convenient system to apply for a visa completely online. More than 140 different countries can benefit from the UAE's e-visa system.
Additionally, around 20 different nationalities require a visa on arrival, issued at any airport in the UAE.
Finally, an additional 40 countries must apply for a traditional embassy visa before arriving in the Emirates. Citizens of these countries must obtain an embassy visa, regardless of the reason for their trip or the expected length of stay in the UAE. Currently, UAE authorities ban Israeli citizens from entering the country. Israeli passport holders cannot apply for a visa to enter the Emirates. The visa ban may be lifted in some exceptional cases, especially during sporting events. Additionally, Israeli citizens can transit through UAE airports without a visa if they do not leave the transit area.
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE government has introduced additional protective measures to mitigate the spread of new coronavirus infections. These measures include testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements. Currently, RT-PCR testing is only required for unvaccinated arrivals. The test must be taken 48 hours before the planned trip to be considered valid.
Who can enter the United Arab Emirates?
All international visitors, except Israeli passport holders, are allowed to enter the UAE. Depending on their Covid-19 vaccination status, participation rules may vary slightly.
Document checklist for entering the United Arab Emirates
- valid passport
- UAE visa
- RT-PCR test report (only if unvaccinated)
- Covid-19 vaccination certificate (only if vaccinated)
- Travel insurance (optional)
- Check-in upon arrival
- Al Hosn app
Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements
Request an inspection
Unvaccinated or fully vaccinated passengers must provide a negative RT-PCR test result within 48 hours before departure. 48 hours are counted from the time the tested sample is taken.
Travelers who are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19 will be exempt from the testing requirement. Proof of recall issued no later than 30 days prior to expected arrival is required.
There is no requirement for post-departure testing. However, all passengers are subject to random RT-PCR testing.
The UAE government accepts all Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers approved by the World Health Organization. All travelers who have received the full dose of vaccine must provide a vaccination certificate. Electronic and paper forms are accepted as long as the passenger data and QR code are legible. Additionally, the certificate must be issued in English or translated into English. Only certified translations are recognized as valid.
Although passengers arriving in the UAE do not need to quarantine, random testing for Covid-19 is still being carried out in the country. People who test positive may be quarantined. Quarantine can only be ended after two negative RT-PCR tests taken 24 hours apart.
Traveling from the UAE
Travelers cannot be subject to travel bans, unpaid debts, child custody disputes or engage in legal proceedings to leave the UAE.
Airport staff conduct temperature checks and departing passengers may also be screened for Covid-19 symptoms.
If your next destination country requires you to provide, for example, a valid negative test report, be sure to prepare all necessary documents before departure.
Traveling to the UAE
If you are planning to travel to the UAE in the near future, you should review officially published guidelines and confirm entry requirements directly with the tour operator and/or airline you will be traveling with. together.
Please also note that the rules in place in the Emirates may vary. Remember to check the regulations that apply to the Emirate(s) where you will be staying.
Entry Rules for Children
Children under 16 years old arriving in the UAE are exempt from the requirement to provide a negative RT-PCR test result.
Transit through the UAE - rules during Covid-19
Travelers changing flights within the UAE airport transit area are exempted from presenting a negative RT-PCR test as long as their final destination does not require the provision of a valid test report.
Airport staff checking in for connecting flights may require transit passengers to present all documents required by the country of their final destination. Failure to present relevant documents may result in denied boarding.
Please note that for transit purposes (not immigration clearance), you must have a passport that is only valid for 3 months from the date of intended transit through the UAE.
United Arab Emirates e-visa
The UAE government has introduced an e-visa system to allow some foreign visitors to apply for visas entirely online.
UAE e-visas are issued for short-term travel or transit purposes and come in four different categories to suit different travel needs.
The UAE e-visa allows entry to all emirates, including:
- Abu Dhabi
- Ras Al Khaimah
- Umm Al Quwain
Qualified applicants can receive their approved visas directly in their email inbox within 3 business days.
Visa on arrival
The UAE government requires certain citizens to apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. VoA is issued as a short-term, single-entry visa and can be issued at several airports in the UAE. Currently, there are about 20 different countries whose citizens must obtain VoA.
Upon arrival at one of the UAE airports, they will need to go directly to the immigration office to process all visa procedures. It will be necessary to provide some personal and passport information as well as pay a visa fee.
Normally, visas on arrival are issued for stays of up to 30 days, but citizens of some countries can apply for a VoA allowing a 90-day stay in the UAE.
Additionally, Indian passport holders residing in the US or holding a valid US visa or residing in an EU country, are eligible for a 14-day visa issued upon arrival in the UAE. All VoA eligible travelers planning to stay in the Emirates for a period longer than their visa on arrival will need to apply for a visa from the embassy.
Full list of countries whose citizens must apply for a visa when visiting the UAE:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United States
- Vatican City
Embassy or consulate visa
The UAE government requires visitors from about 40 different countries, mainly African and Asian territories, to obtain a UAE visa from the embassy before their intended trip. An embassy or consulate visa is required for these nationals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or the expected length of stay in the UAE.
The procedure for applying for a diplomatic or consular visa involves traveling to the nearest diplomatic mission before you plan to travel to the UAE. All applicants will be required to complete all formalities, including providing some additional documents. Requirements may vary depending on the applicant's nationality and the type of visa requested. Because the entire process can take time, travelers should consider starting the registration process several weeks in advance of their travel plans.
For more information on required documents and visa requirements, contact the nearest UAE embassy directly.
List of countries requiring an embassy or consulate visa for the United Arab Emirates:
- American Samoa
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Isle of Man
- Norfolk Island
- Pitcairn Islands
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sint Maarten
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
Currently, there are about 40 different countries whose citizens are allowed to visit the UAE without a visa for varying periods of time.
Four of these visa-exempt countries are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, namely Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Everyone can benefit from freedom of movement in the UAE. They only need to provide a valid driver's license or national identity card to enter Emirates. Currently, Qatari citizens, despite being a GCC member state, are not allowed to travel to the UAE without a visa, with the exception of Qataris whose family members are residents of the United Arab Emirates. Visitors from other visa-exempt countries will need to present a valid passport to enter the UAE. Depending on their nationality, they can stay in the UAE for 30 to 90 days without a visa.
All tourists, including those from visa-exempt countries, those planning to visit the UAE for study, work or purposes other than tourism or leisure, or those who are planning a long-term stay in the country, will need to go to the embassy to obtain the relevant visa in the traditional way.
Full list of visa-free countries:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Cyprus
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
Al Hosn App
Al Hosn is the official UAE app developed for Covid-19 contact tracing and health screening. There are three statuses based on the RT-PCR test and the user's most recent vaccination status, which are green, gray or red.
Although post-arrival testing requirements have been lifted in the UAE, Abu Zabi still requires green status in the Al Hosn app to be able to move freely and access shops and tourist attractions and other public buildings.
To obtain green status through the app, one must present a negative RT-PCR test taken at least once every 14 days.
The UAE has joined the EU's DCC system, meaning digital vaccination certificates on the Al Hosn app are now equivalent to certificates issued by European countries. This also means that vaccinated people in the UAE can use the al Hosn app across Europe under the same conditions as the EU Digital Pass.
All travelers are encouraged to purchase comprehensive insurance to cover Covid-19 and other medical treatment costs. Major medical procedures, hospitalization costs, and medical transportation can be very expensive. It is very common to have to pay a fee in advance before providing certain medical services.
Travelers should check that their insurance policy is valid in the UAE.