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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Explained: Here’s how to apply for a tourist visa to travel to the UAE, Dubai

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) administration has started issuing tourist visas to travellers, including Indian citizens.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 7, 2021 9:14:46 am
A general view of the Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 12, 2021. (Reuters Photo: Christopher Pike, File)

In the run-up to the Expo 2020 in Dubai, which kicks off October 1 onward, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) administration has started issuing tourist visas, including to Indian citizens.

So, what has changed?

As the UAE announced it would reopen its borders for travellers, including Indians, ahead of the Expo 2020 trade fair, visa agency VFS Global said it resumed tourist visa services, effective August 30, 2021.

Travellers will be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test certificate issued within 48 hours from the time of collecting the sample and from an approved health service, which uses the QR code system, as well as a rapid PCR test report conducted at the departure airport six hours prior to departure, provided with a QR code.

Tourists will not need an approval from the country’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), which were previously required to grant permission for such visas.

How to apply for a tourist visa for the UAE

VFS said passengers wanting to travel to the UAE on a tourist visa can apply on or at one of the agency’s Dubai Visa Processing Centres in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram, which are currently operating on limited days of the week.

Is it mandatory to get a visa prior to departure?

While the UAE has disallowed visa on arrival for Indian citizens, information sourced from Dubai-based airline Emirates shows that Indian nationals with a normal passport who are travelling to India via Dubai can obtain a visa on arrival in Dubai for a maximum stay of 14 days provided they have a visitor visa or a green card issued by the Unites States, or a residence visa issued by the United Kingdom or Europe Union. The visa issued by the US, the UK or Europe Union has to be valid for a minimum of six months.

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