Updated February 2024
Travellers from Dubai & the UAE can now travel to the UK without any stringent entry restrictions, even without the need to present a standard visa for short-term visits.
Read on as Wego helps you discover the UK tourist visa requirements for UAE and Dubai citizens, how to apply for one, the documents and other requirements, along with the visa cost.
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UK tourist visa from Dubai latest news
Today marks the first day that UAE nationals can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization to visit the United Kingdom and be exempt from obtaining a prior entry visa to travel.
— UAE Embassy UK (@UAEEmbassyUK) February 1, 2024
Beginning February 1, 2024, the ETA system is functional for UAE nationals intending to travel to the UK, exempting them from any pre-travel visa requirement.
This move will eliminate visit visa requirements for nationals from the UAE, as well as for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Jordan. Instead, they will be granted an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) at a cost of GBP 10 (USD 12), which will be valid for two years. This means that Gulf travelers and Jordanians will now have entry requirements equivalent to those of citizens from the US and Australia.
This scheme has replaced the older Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) system. The applications for the ETA scheme are open from February 1, 2024, and ETA is required for all travelers from February 22, 2024.
Furthermore, there are plans to expand this initiative globally throughout 2024.
Do Dubai & UAE residents need a tourist visa to the UK?
No, UAE and Dubai nationals are exempt from obtaining a prior entry visa for UK.
All travellers from the UAE will require the UK Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for entry.
Check out our article below to learn all about the UK ETA:
Electronic Visa Waiver
The United Kingdom Electronic Visa Waiver is a fast, digital alternative to the regular visit visa which allows eligible visitors to visit the UK without the need for a visa, provided they are visiting for purposes of tourism, business, study or medical treatment. It ensures that all necessary security checks are carried out in advance of travel. An Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) lets eligible visitors visit the UK for up to six (6) months, and it cannot be used to work, get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK.
This system will be replaced by the ETA, as all travelers will require an ETA to visit UK from February 22, 2024.
Standard Visitor Visa
The UAE and Dubai residents can apply for the Standard Visitor Visa to visit or the UK Tourist Visa for tourism, as well as business, study and other purposes if they are staying more than 6 months in the UK.
Refer to our article UK Tourist Visa: How to Apply for Standard Visitor Visa to the UK? for more information.
The UK tourist visa from Dubai tracking
You’ll get an email or a letter containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.
Alternatively, you can refer to our article on the dedicated topic to get more information regarding the UK Tourist Visa tracking process.
The UK tourist visa processing time
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 15 working days. The processing times for Priority and Super Priority visas have also accordingly normalised.
You can find out more about the visa decision waiting times here.
Please note that you will get an email or a letter containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.
The UK tourist visa from Dubai fees
Dubai and the UAE residents travelling to the UK and applying for the UK Tourist Visa or the Standard Visitor Visa will be subject to the following fees, depending on the type of the visa:
- standard Visitor visa (for 6 months) – £100 (AED 461)
- standard Visitor visa for medical reasons (for 11 months) – £200 (AED 923)
- standard Visitor visa for academics (for 12 months) – £200 (AED 923)
- 2-year long-term Standard Visitor visa (6 months per visit) – £376 (AED 1,735)
- 5-year long-term Standard Visitor visa (6 months per visit) – £670 (AED 3,092)
- 10-year long-term Standard Visitor visa (6 months per visit) – £837 (AED 3,863)
UK electronic travel authorisation (ETA) for Dubai & UAE nationals
UAE is one of the first countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for a UK electronic travel authorisation. The travel document is quick and easy to obtain, and it is completely online.
The ETA UK visa for UAE nationals allows travellers to enter the UK for the purposes of:
- short-term medical treatment
The holder of a UK ETA can stay in the UK for up to 6 months. If they plan to stay for longer than 6 months, they must apply for a visa.
UK electronic travel authorisation application
The ETA for traveling to the UK can be obtained within 3 days for most cases.
Below are the required documents you must provide to apply for the ETA UK.
- your passport
- your email address
- credit or debit card
UAE nationals can apply for the ETA through these steps:
- visit the ETA website, or download the app from the Google Play Store or the App Store
- input your photo, personal data such as data from passport, current address
- answer prompt questions about your travel plans
- pay the processing fee and submit the application
- receive the approved document via e-mail