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Reviewed January 2024

While citizens of the GCC countries can travel within the region with ease, foreign nationals residing in the GCC (residents of GCC) who wish to enter the UAE must secure a visa to stay in the country. In this article, Wego will share

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Depending on the nationality of the traveller, they may need to apply for an e-Visa (entry permit) ahead of travel. Some nationalities may be eligible for a visa exemption of a visa on arrival to the Emirates, while GCC citizens will be able to travel into the country with only their national ID.

Residents of the GCC must apply for an e-Visa (also known as an entry permit) and obtain them before travelling to the UAE. They can apply through GDRFAD if they wish to enter from Dubai and through Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security if they wish to enter the other Emirates in the UAE.


Entry permit to Dubai through GDRFA

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA) has introduced a fresh entry permit system for GCC residents. This online service aims to provide advance entry permits for individuals residing in GCC nations, aiming to enhance the entry experience into the UAE and simplify related procedures.

There are a few terms and conditions the GCC resident must take note of:

  1. They must have a valid residence permit for at least a year.
  2. No restrictions exist that prevent the traveler from entering the country.
  3. Their work or residency card needs to include their profession.
  4. Validity of their passport or travel document is no less than 6 months.

Required documents

Below are the documents that you need to prepare before applying for the e-Visa/entry permit:

  1. A valid passport or travel document to enter the country.
  2. A copy of the residence permit or an electronic extract stating the profession and validity of residence.
  3. Personal photo (colored, white background).

Application process

The Ministry of Interior’s GDRFAD is in charge of controlling travelers’ entry and exit through Dubai. Below are the steps to obtain your e-Visa:

  1. Log in to the Smart GDRFA website
  2. Register as a user.
  3. Choose the service.
  4. Fill in the data.
  5. Pay the due fees.
  6. After approval, the visa is sent to the user’s email.

Entry permit to Abu Dhabi & other emirates through ICP

Required documents

Below are the documents that you need to prepare before applying for the e-Visa/entry permit:

  1. A valid passport or travel document to enter the country
  2. Valid residence visa from one of the GCC countries with validity of at least 3 months
  3. Personal photo (colored, white background) that matches the requirements by the ICP

GCC residents applying through ICP and planning to travel with dependents or companions may need to provide additional documents.

Application process

  1. Access the website of the ICA Smart Services 
  2. Login using UAE Pass or register for one
  3. Select the ICP department for the emirate you’re travelling to
  4. Search for the entry permit service
  5. Click “Start Service”
  6. Fill in your information and upload required documents
  7. Once completed, you will receive application number that you can track

The cost for this is AED 250 plus 5% Value Added Tax. If your application is approved, you will receive the entry permit in 48 hours, as stated by GDRFAD.

Applying for an entry permit through the ICP costs around AED 350, but service fees may still vary.

UAE & Dubai visa for GCC residents validity

The entry permit for GCC residents to Dubai and the other emirates has a validity period of 30 days from the issue date and permits a stay of 30 days from the day of entry. It can be extended only once.


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