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Updated 15 September 2021

The UAE is welcoming travellers from all over the world, including travellers from previously banned countries. 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 are the latest Dubai transit rules you need to know.

Can I transit in Dubai now? 

Yes, if you’re a traveller normally permitted to enter the UAE. Transit and tourist visas are now available to travellers from all nationalities and anyone can travel to the UAE, provided they have the appropriate documents. 

 

Are there any required documents?

A transit visa is required if you are not one of the nationalities that are eligible for a visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE. 

A 30 and 90-day visa on arrival is available for citizens of select countries. Advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE are not required for travellers in this group and they are also eligible for a 10-day grace period for an extension.

For citizens of GCC countries, a visa-free entry is possible. They also are not required other types of permits or sponsorships by a national or resident in the UAE. 

 

How much is the Dubai transit visa?

The UAE issues two types of transit visas: one for 48 hours which is free of charge, and another for 96 hours for AED 50. Transit visas must be processed and approved before entering the UAE and are not extendable.

 

How do I get 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.

In order for the airline or travel agent to obtain your travel visa, the following documents are required.

48-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

96-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

 

Do I need to get tested while transiting in Dubai?

As per the Emirates travel requirements page, depending on where you depart from, you may need to provide a negative PCR test prior to departure and take another test upon arrival.

Passengers transiting through Dubai from the following countries are required to present a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, as well as to follow any requirements mandated by their final destination:

  • Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Indonesia

The certificate must be a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Other test certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai. Travellers must bring an official, printed certificate in English or Arabic to check-in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. PCR certificates in other languages as required by the final destination are acceptable if they can be validated at the originating station.

All other transit passengers are not required to present this certificate unless it is mandated by their final destination.

 

Transit time for restricted countries

If you are travelling from one of the restricted countries (Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia), you will be required to leave the airport if your transit time is more than 10 hours.

If you are unable to provide evidence of the means to leave the airport for a transit over 10 hours, you will be denied boarding at the point of origin.

 

Complimentary hotel stay for transit passengers by Emirates

Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates has introduced a new service for passengers transiting through Dubai Airport who have to wait longer to catch their flights for their forward journey. Called Dubai Connect, the service entitles travellers to complimentary hotel accommodation, transfers and a visa to enter the UAE.

Dubai Connect Services is available to passengers with a connecting stopover time of 10 to 24 hours. It applies to all cabin classes (First Class, Business, and Economy).

The service has to be booked at least 24 hours ahead of the incoming flight to Dubai.

Eligible passengers

To book a Dubai Connect service, the connecting flight on the passenger’s itinerary must be the best available connection. This means that the stopover time in Dubai between your two flights must be the shortest one available.

If the connecting flight departs after another, earlier connecting flight to the passenger’s destination, then the booking does not qualify for Dubai Connect.

If you do not qualify for Dubai Connect, you can stay at a hotel or with family and friends at your own expense if you are eligible for visa on arrival or have a pre approved visa to enter Dubai.