The Guides

Different types of Dubai visas

Getting a Dubai visa doesn't have to be a headache, in fact, it's probably one of the easiest visas to get whether you're applying as a tourist, investor or resident. Here's a conclusive guide on what visa is right for you.

1. Property Owner Visa

If you own a property worth AED 1 million in Dubai, you are already eligible for an investor visa. However, the property should not be under a mortgage. Property investors need to submit a copy of their passport and the title deed to the Dubai Economic Department. The Department will then issue a trade license on that property after getting the approval from Dubai Land Department. After getting the trade license, the individual can go to the Immigration Department to obtain the 2-year residency visa.

1. Investors with a property greater than AED 5 million are eligible for a 5-year renewable visa. The visa is renewable on the basis that the owner maintains his ownership of the property.

2. Investors with a property worth AED 1 million and above are eligible for 2-year visas. In this case as well, the visa is renewable on the basis that the owner maintains his ownership of the property.

3. Investors that have public investments worth AED 10 million through a deposit also are eligible for 10 year long visas. Real estate cannot exceed 60% of this amount. The investment must be held and unsold for atleast 3 years.

Browse apartments above AED 1 million

2. Tourist Visa

A regular tourist visa can be processed by an airline, an approved tour operator or by a friend/relative that's a resident in the UAE. Women below 18 years of age are not allowed to apply for this visa, however, dependents have zero visa fees. A single-entry tourist visa for 30 days costs as little as AED 350.

2. A) Transit Visa

If you're a regular traveller, then you can definitely consider getting a transit visa  (more commonly known as a 96 hour transit) on the way to your final destination. You can pick up your visa if you are flying one of the national airlines. This includes Emirates, Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia. Please check each airline's set of rules You can get one on arrival in Dubai at the Marhaba services counter in Terminal 1, or the Emirates Hotels and visas for Dubai desk in Terminal 3. This visa is not guaranteed, as the granting of the visa is subject to Dubai immigration department approval. A transit visa can cost you as less as AED 50. 

You need to carry your confirmed ticket out of Dubai, a color photograph, passport copy, colour copies of your passport bio page and last page, showing full name, nationality, date and place of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiry, name of father / legal guardian, name of mother. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months at the time of travel. Each airline has their own visa form to fill. 

2. B) Visa On Arrival

Some countries can get a 30-day visa on arrival, and others for 90 days, as long as your passport is valid for six months. View the list here. Indians with a valid US visa or a green card are eligible for a stay of 14 days. Indian passport holders with UK and EU residency are also eligible for visa on arrival to the UAE. If you are a GCC resident, you will need to apply for a visa online. Besides this, GCC nationals don't require a visa to enter the UAE.

3. Student Visa

This visa is specific to expat college students wanting to study in Dubai.  In order to apply for this visa, students will need an admission letter from their university, passing medical fitness test, a visa sponsor, either the university itself or a parent or relative approval of the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The visa's validity is 1 year. 

Male students above the age of 18 have to be enrolled in a university in order to be sponsored by their parents, otherwise they will need to be sponsored by the university. Females can be under their parents' visa until marriage. If the student completes high school in the UAE, they have an additional 1 year visa. 

4. Work Visa/Residence Visa

In order to work in the UAE legally, you need this visa. Once hired by the company, they should take care of these requirements for you. It involves taking a medical test, photographs, passport copies, an attested educational certificate as well as a sponsor (your company in this case). This enables you to have a residency permit of 2 years and can be transferred when you change jobs. 

4. A) For Dependents

Any dependents like your spouse or children can only have a visa after you have one. In order to sponsor them, you need to have a minimum salary of AED 3,000 plus accommodation or AED 4,000 without accommodation.

5. Investor Visa

If you own a business, you are entitled to an investor visa. The procedure involves a valid business licence, photographs, medical test and passport copies. The applicant has to have more than AED 70,000 worth of shares and deposit a refundable amount of AED 10,000 in order to receive this visa. This amount will be returned once the visa is cancelled. Entrepreneurs with either a minimum investment of AED 500,000 or an approval from a business incubator get offered a five-year multiple entry visa.

For applicants with less than AED 70,000 shares, the security deposit will be AED 20,000. 

6. Retiree Visa

If an individual has retired and over 55 years of age, he/she has the option to go for a retirement visa valid for 5 years. The eligibility criteria include either of the following:

1. Invest in a property worth AED 2 million 

2. Have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million 

3. Have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

Note: The visa rules & requirements in Dubai & the UAE do keep changing, so before you travel, please check with the relevant authorities.