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Updated September 2023
The UAE is welcoming travellers from all over the world. While many international visitors set their sights on Dubai, many also proceed to make their way to other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and so on.
For those whose itinerary includes Dubai as a pit stop, here is everything you need to know about the Dubai transit visa, its types, requirements, price, status check & more.
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Who needs to apply for the Dubai & UAE transit visa?
Travellers to Dubai who are not from one of the nationalities eligible for the UAE visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE, need to apply for a Dubai transit visa, provided their onward flight from Dubai is in the next 48 hours or 96 hours.
Citizens of the countries below are not allowed to apply for the transit visa:
A 30 and 90-day visa on arrival is available for citizens of select countries.
For citizens of GCC countries, visa-free entry is possible. They also don’t need other types of permits or sponsorships by a national or resident in the UAE.
Please note that the Dubai transit visa is sponsored only by UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE. Both the types of transit visas, 48 hours and 96 hours transit visas, are non extendable.
Dubai & UAE transit visa 48 hours
The Dubai transit visa for 48 hours is issued free of charge to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports. Eligible applicants need to apply for the 48-hour transit visa in advance through a UAE-based airline. The visa is non extendable and non-renewable. Once a 48 hours visa is issued, it cannot be extended to 96 hours.
Furthermore, the validity of the transit visa is 48 hours from the date of entry into the UAE, and travellers holding the visa must leave the UAE within 48 hours from arrival.
To get a 48 hours transit visa, you must have the following documents:
- a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three (3) months
- a photo of self against a white background
- an onward ticket booking to a third destination, other than the one you are coming from.
Dubai & UAE transit visa 96 hours
The Dubai transit visa for 96 hours is issued against a fee of AED 50 to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports. Eligible passengers need to apply for the visa in advance through a UAE-based airline. The visa is not extendable nor renewable.
Furthermore, the validity of the transit visa is 96 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 96 hours from arrival.
To get a 96 hours transit visa, you must have the following documents:
- a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six (6) months
- a photo of self against a white background
- an onward ticket booking to a third destination other than the one you are coming from.
How to apply for a Dubai transit visa?
Transit visas are obtained by the UAE-based airline you are travelling with. The airline typically arranges your transit visa prior to your journey. If your trip is organized by a travel agency, the travel agent will arrange for your transit visa to be issued.
Airline agents can apply online for the Dubai transit visas through one of the following means:
- the eChannels portal
- the ICA UAE eChannels app for Apple and Android
- online channels offered by the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in each emirate.
Dubai transit visa status check
You can track the status of your Dubai transit visa application from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website.
To track your visa application, follow the steps given below:
- Visit the link smart.gdrfad.gov.ae
- Enter your visa ‘Application Number’ and ‘Reference/Transaction Number’. When you submit your visa application to any visa service provider, ask them to give you the application number and reference number so you can track the visa yourself.
- Enter your visa ‘Payment Date’.
- Tick the Captcha box, and click on ‘Submit’.
You will now be able to check the status of your Dubai transit visa application.
Dubai transit visa price
The emirate has announced new changes that increase the cost of United Arab Emirates’ transit visa. The fee for a 96-hour transit visa has been raised to AED 50, while a 48-hour transit visa remains free of charge.
No fees or additional amounts can be imposed by any federal, local or private entity. A departure fee of AED 30 (USD 8.17) is levied on each passenger passing through the UAE’s airports.