Visas for the UAE

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Visas for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Requirements for Entry to the United Arab Emirates

Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) do not require a visa.

Citizens of most industrialized countries will receive a 30-day visa on arrival in the United Arab Emirates free of charge. This can be extended for up to 90 days after arrival for a fee of Dhs 500. The countries are listed below:

Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (except BN(O) passports), United States of America and the Vatican City.

Several other countries are eligible for free hotel/tour-sponsored tourism visas. See UAE Interact for the latest details.

All other nationalities will be required to apply for a visa in advance, which will require a sponsor from inside the UAE. Your travel agent will usually be able or arrange this for you if you book your hotel through them.

Israeli citizens are banned by the UAE government from entering the country. However, despite much online misinformation to the contrary, an Israeli visa stamps are — by official policy — quietly ignored.

If you are traveling from India (not sure of procedure from other countries), please get a stamp of 'OK to Board'. Most of the times, it is arranged by your travel agent. In case he hasn't then as soon as you get your Visa; take your Visa, Passport and Ticket to your Airlines office and get the stamp of 'OK to board'. Without this you might not be allowed to travel to UAE.

Customs Regulations

Each non-muslim adult can bring in four items of alcohol , eg four bottles of wine, or four bottles of spirits, or four cases of beer (regardless of alcohol content).

The UAE takes an infamously strict line on medicines, with many common drugs, notably anything with containing codeine, diazepam (Valium) or dextromethorphan (Robitussin) being banned unless you have a notarized and authenticated doctor's prescription. Visitors breaking the rules, even inadvertently, have found themselves deported or jailed. The US Embassy to the UAE maintains an unofficial list of what may not be imported. However, as many people have noticed even when having all the correct documentations in both English and Arabic have not been enough to be able to bring in some medication and have resulted in both refusal of entry into the UAE and in some cases fines or jail time. It is advised not bring any kind of medication with you if you can manage without them.

Don't even think about bringing in narcotics: possession of even trace amounts leads to a minimum of four years in prison. Using Khat/qat (a flowering plant that contains an alkaloid called cathinone) which is popular in other nearby countries (notably Yemen) is also illegal, with life prison sentences possible.

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