On this page, we detail everything you need to know about tourist visas for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Note no matter which Emirate you come in and out of, the Visa rules are national.
First up – it’s important to note what passport you are holding and therefore which visa rules apply to you.
Who needs to apply for a Tourist Visa?
Tourist Visas for Abu Dhabi and the UAE are applicable for anyone NOT eligible for a visa on arrival. There are two categories of Visa on Arrival – check these first!
If your country of citizenship is not listed below, you can apply either through your airline or UAE registered tour operator for the appropriate visa.
- Visa services from Etihad Airways
- Visa Services offered by Emirates Airline
- Visa services from Fly Dubai
- Visa services from Air Arabia
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 350 AED for 30 days. This may be extended twice for 30 days (so max 90 days) at 960 AED per extension.
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 30-Day Visa on Arrival
There are 22 countries that are currently eligible for a FREE 30-day visit visa on arrival to the UAE, these are:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Vatican City
A visit visa for these countries lasts for 30 days and can be renewed twice, with a 10 day grace period (ie you won’t be fined for overstaying your visa until Day 40). If you overstay a visit Visa the fine is 200AED the first day, plus 100 AED per additional day – see more below on overstays.
Countries Eligible for 90-day Visa on Arrival
There are 40+ countries that are currently eligible for a FREE 90-day visit visa on arrival to the UAE, these are:
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Solomona Islands*
- South Korea*
* = extendable. All others are non-extendable beyond 90 days
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 30-day tourist Visa has expired?
If your 30-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 39)
- Apply to Immigration and pay a fee to have your visit Visa extended. You can only extend a 30 day Visa for a maximum of 60 days (ie two paid extensions).
What is a Visa Run?
A Visa run is a common expression used for when you leave the country, in order to immediately re-enter and start a fresh visit visa.
Most commonly, this is done on the UAE’s border with Oman as it is quite straight forward and inexpensive to cross by land, provided you have access to a car. We have a detailed guide on our Dubai Travel Planner site how the process works. It is identical for Abu Dhabi, although there may be closer border crossing points to consider.
It’s important to note if you leave the country during the first 30 days, your UAE Visa on Arrival will not renew on re-entry. It’s a 30 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 30 days to 40 days.
Eg: You arrive into Abu Dhabi on 1 September, stay for a few days then fly on to Europe. You return to the UAE on 28 September. You then spend two weeks in Abu Dhabi and fly out again on 12 October.
Even though you only stayed in Dubai for just over two weeks, your original 30-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, of course, be to include a trip to Oman in with your Abu Dhabi trip! Musandam is our favourite location for an overnight trip, although the closes 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 30 and day 39.
There are a few small costs involved. 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.
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.