The Abu Dhabi Tourist Visa Explained – Rule Changes in 2022

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner Team

On this page, we detail everything you need to know about tourist visas for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Note that these visa rules apply no matter which Emirate you come in and out of.

We have updated this page following changes to the visa system in October 2022.

We have attempted to provide clear and accurate information; however, at the time of writing, some aspects of the new Visa system are not entirely clear during this transition period. This page will be amended as soon as more official information becomes available.

In addition to requiring a visa to enter the country as a tourist, please keep abreast of current COVID-19 requirements. As of 7 November, 2022, the Al Hosn “Green Pass” requirement was abolished.

Who needs to apply for a Tourist Visa?

Anyone not a GCC national or eligible for a visa on arrival (see list below) must apply for a visa in advance to visit the UAE.

You can apply either through your airline or UAE-registered tour operator for the appropriate visa.

A single entry transit visa for less than 48 hours is free, whilst of 4-day short-stay, visa costs 50AED.

A 30-day, single-entry visa costs in the region of 350 AED, depending on the service that you use to obtain it. Alternatively, a 60-day single-entry visa costs in the region of 650 AED. Both 30 and 60-day single-entry visit visas can be extended for a further 30 days for a fee of 960 AED.

Note that people under the age of 18 cannot apply for a tourist visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

Visa-Free Entry to the UAE

Citizens from GCC Countries do not need to apply for a visa on arrival to the UAE.

Countries eligible for Visa on Arrival

Upon landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport, simply make your way to immigration, where your visa will be issued.

These countries are currently eligible for a FREE visit visa on arrival to the UAE:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City

A visit visa for most of these countries lasts for 60 days and can be renewed for another 30 days twice. If you overstay a visit visa, the fine is 200 AED for the first day and 100 AED per day after that – see more below on overstays.

There is a 10-day grace period (this means that you won’t be fined for overstaying your visa until Day 70). 

Note that the 26 countries in the Schengen Zone had previously been allowed to stay in the UAE for 90 days, although it is unclear whether this is still the case following the immigration reforms of October 2022.

Five-Year Multi-Visit Visa (New in 2022)

A five-year multi-visit visa is also available for the above countries, which allows the holder to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days in a row and up to 180 days per year.

In order to apply for this type of visa, you need to prove that you have USD 4,000 in your bank account (for at least six months prior to the visa application) and purchase UAE Health Insurance.

Citizens of India

There are specific rules applicable to Indian citizens, which you can find here.

If you have any concerns, you should verify this information on the UAE Government website.

What happens if my tourist Visa has expired?

If your 60-day tourist visa to the UAE has expired, you have two options:

  • Leave the country before your 10-day grace period expires (ie, by day 69)
  • Apply to Immigration and pay a fee to have your visit visa extended. It is currently understood that you are able to extend your 60-day visa by 30 days twice, giving you a maximum of 120 days in the UAE (previously, you could keep renewing indefinitely by leaving the country and returning).

What is a Visa Run?

A Visa run is a common expression used for when you leave the country in order to re-enter and start a fresh visit visa immediately.

Most commonly, this is done on the UAE’s border with Oman as it is quite straightforward and inexpensive to cross by land, provided you have access to a car. We have a detailed guide on how the process works on our Dubai Travel Planner site. It is identical for Abu Dhabi, although there may be closer border crossing points to consider near Al Ain.

There is no need to do a visa run as visas can easily be renewed online, but it is still an option which helps combine costs with a trip to a neighbouring country.

Accidental overstays

It’s important to note if you leave the country during the first 60 days, your UAE Visa on Arrival will not renew upon re-entry. It’s a 60-day multi-entry Visa.  If you are travelling through Abu Dhabi, let’s say onward to Europe, then have a stopover in Abu Dhabi again, be very careful if that second stop sees you cross over from 60 days to 70 days.

Eg: You arrive in Abu Dhabi on 1 September, stay for a few days, and then fly on to Europe. You return to the UAE on 30 October.  You then spend two weeks in Abu Dhabi and fly out again on 12 November.

Even though you only stayed in the UAE for just over two weeks, your original 60-day visa was still valid on re-entry. You are considered to have overstayed your visit visa by 12 days as you did not leave the country, and it was not renewed during the 10-day grace period.

Road trip to Oman?

A good way to avoid this can be to include a trip to Oman with your Abu Dhabi trip!  Musandam is our favourite location for an overnight trip, although the closest crossing point from Abu Dhabi city is Al Ain; not only an amazing experience, but you can avoid any issues with overstaying your visa and receiving a fine by exiting the country between day 60 and day 69.

There are a few small costs involved, and depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for an e-visa in advance. Other than transportation, you have to pay an exit fee to the UAE, and a tourist Visa entry fee to Oman, currently 5OR for a 10-day visit visa. 

Re-entering the UAE, there are no charges on the Omani or UAE side, just stamping of your passports.

If you are travelling in a hire car, you will need to check that your insurance covers Oman and obtain a ’no objection certificate (NOC)’.

Head back to our Abu Dhabi Essential Planning Page

NB If you are looking to work in the UAE and become a resident, different visa categories will apply.  You may still be instructed by a future employer to enter on a tourist visa; then you will be changed across to the appropriate visa category in due course.

Disclaimer: This information is correct at the time of publication in October 2022. We cannot be held liable for any omissions. Where possible, we have quoted the relevant source where you can verify the information. We are not travel agents and cannot arrange visas for you. This is a personal blog, our website terms of use can be found here.

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