The UAE government has changed its visa application process to make it quicker and simpler for visitors to obtain a UAE visa. There are now several different categories of visa which differ in length of stay and type of stay.
Tourists can travel to the UAE from any part of the world by obtaining a 30-day tourist visa. They are widely available through airlines, hotels and other travel and tourism agencies.
Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fly Dubai, and Air Arabia have the authority to provide the tourist visas. If the visitor obtains the visa from a hotel, the air tickets and hotel bookings have to be made via those hotels.
You can extend the 30-day visa by 10 days and there is also a 14-day option. There are multi-entry visas, for those visiting the UAE on business. They are valid for six months (though each stay cannot extend beyond 30 days).
You can also obtain the visas directly from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs. One way is through their new smart app, 'UAE-MOI'.
New visa for visiting relatives in the UAE
The UAE authorities have also decided to make it easier for relatives of people working in the UAE to visit. The only stipulation is that people visiting have to state the nature of their relationship with those who sponsor their visit.
Under the same rule, natives, as well as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, can bring domestics in. These types of visas will be available under two categories, 30-days, and 90-days.
Foreigners in GCC countries can apply for UAE e-visas but the rules state that they have to apply for the visa before coming into the UAE. They are advised not to enter the UAE without obtaining one first.
If you are transiting through the UAE on your way to another destination there is a 96-hour transit visa available. They can even be extended to 14 days and are obtainable through the airline.
The costs of the UAE visa varies according to the type of visa. You can find more detailed information on this on the UAE immigration department website.
Visitors must exit the country before the visas expire. Those who don't will have to pay a fine upon exiting and the size of the fine will depend on the number of days overstayed.