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UAE’s New Visa: Everything You Need to Know

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced two types of transit visas aimed at making short stays in the country more accessible for international travelers. These new visa types offer a convenient way for tourists to explore the UAE during brief layovers on longer journeys.

Overview of the New Transit Visas

Travelers can now choose between a 48-hour visa available at no cost and a 96-hour visa that costs 50 dirhams. These visas are designed specifically for those passing through the UAE, heading to further destinations.

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Application Process and Eligibility

The process to obtain these visas is straightforward but requires action before arriving in the UAE. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Who Can Apply? 

These transit visas are not for everyone. If you are a citizen from a country that does not require a visa to enter the UAE or can get one upon arrival, you do not need a transit visa.

  • How to Apply?

Applications for transit visas must be made through national airlines of the UAE. These airlines handle all arrangements, ensuring that travelers have their visas before their travel dates.

  • Application Channels

The UAE’s national airline agents can apply for transit visas on behalf of passengers using the smart application UAEICP available on Apple devices, through the federal authority’s e-channels, or via Android and other mobile apps provided by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the UAE.

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Conditions and Requirements

Each visa type has specific requirements and conditions associated with it:

48-hour Visa

  • Duration and Cost: 

This visa is free and valid for 48 hours.

  • Eligibility: 

To qualify, travelers must be on a continuous flight through the UAE to another destination.

  • Pre-Arrival Requirements: 

You must apply for this visa in advance and coordinate with your airline. The visa should be valid 48 hours before you enter the country.

  • Departure Requirement: 

You must leave the UAE within 48 hours of your arrival.

  • Document Requirements: 

Travelers need a passport or travel document valid for at least three months and a personal photo against a white background. You must be departing from your home country with a confirmed onward ticket.

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96-hour Visa

  • Duration and Cost: 

This visa costs 50 dirhams and allows you to stay for up to 96 hours.

  • Eligibility: 

Like the 48-hour visa, this is available to transit passengers on a layover.

  • Pre-Arrival Requirements: 

Travel plans must be arranged in advance with the airlines, and the application for the transit visa should be completed before arriving in the UAE.

  • Document Requirements: 

The passport or travel document must be valid for at least six months. Applicants must also submit a personal photo with a white background and have a confirmed ticket to continue their journey to a country other than their home country.

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Additional Information

It is important to note that a transit visa cannot be extended from 48 hours to 96 hours. Also, all passengers using land and sea ports must pay a departure fee of AED 30. However, visitors from the UAE and GCC countries entering via tourist ferries at sea ports are exempt from this fee.


The UAE’s new transit visa options provide a flexible and cost-effective way for international travelers to explore the country during brief stops. By simplifying the application process and clearly defining the eligibility and requirements, the UAE aims to become a more attractive transit hub for global tourists. Whether you are in the UAE for 48 or 96 hours, these visas allow for a short but sweet glimpse into the vibrant culture and scenic beauty of the Emirates.

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Written by areeba iqbal

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