All visitors to the United Arab Emirates must hold a passport that's valid for 3 months from the date of entry, or 6 months if visiting for longer than 90 days. All passport photographs need to be recent color photographs. Visitors must hold documents and tickets needed for their next destination.
For U.S. citizens, a passport is required. For stays of less than 60 days, U.S. citizens holding valid passports may obtain visitor visas at the port of entry for no fee. For a longer stay, a traveler must obtain a visa before arrival in the UAE. In addition, an AIDS test is required for work or residence permits; testing must be performed after arrival - a U.S. AIDS test is not accepted.
For further information, travelers can contact the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (3522 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20037; tel. 202/243-2400; www.UAEembassy.org).
Further entry requirements include:
U.K. nationals: Citizens of the U.K. will be granted a visit visa on arrival in the UAE. Visas are valid for 60 days, with an extension of 30 days possible. British passports not endorsed British Citizen must hold a visa, as well as tickets and documents for next destination, and have a sponsor in the UAE to cover their stay.
Canadians: Canadians may enter the United Arab Emirates for 60 days without a visa (an entry permits will be stamped in their passport upon arrival). An extension is possible for another 30 days.
Irish nationals: Irish nationals can obtain the required visa on arrival for a stay of up to 60 days (an extension of another 30 days is possible).
Citizens (and some residents) of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and citizens of a number of European countries and elsewhere (including Australia and New Zealand) can get an entry permit stamped in their passport upon arrival, good for up to 90 days. Visit the website of the UAE Ministry of Information regarding tourism, business, and residence in the UAE at www.uaeinteract.org.
Passports & Visas
Allow plenty of time before your trip to apply for a passport; processing normally takes 3 weeks but can take longer during busy periods (especially spring). And keep in mind that if you need a passport in a hurry, you'll pay a higher processing fee. If a visa is required, obtain it from the appropriate foreign consular representative of the country you are planning to visit before proceeding abroad. Allow sufficient time for processing your visa application, especially if you are applying by mail. Processing and visa fees vary, and most fees may not be refundable.
For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport and visa requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirement" Web page of the U.S. State Department at http://travel.state.gov.
Passport Application Information
For Residents of Australia: You can pick up an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit the government website at www.passports.gov.au.
For Residents of Canada: Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).
For Residents of Ireland: You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.irlgov.ie/iveagh). Those under age 18 and over 65 must apply for a 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 021/272-525) or at most main post offices
For Residents of New Zealand: You can pick up a passport application at any New Zealand Passports Office or download it from their website. Contact the Passports Office at tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100, or log on to www.passports.govt.nz
For Residents of the United Kingdom: To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-yr. passport for children under 16), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency or contact the United Kingdom Passport Service at tel. 0870/521-0410 or search its website at www.ukpa.gov.uk.
For Residents of the United States: Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov. To find your regional passport office, either check the U.S. State Department website or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free number (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
Facilities and Health Information: Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of the UAE, but not necessarily in outlying areas.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers tel. 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) or on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/travel.
Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Keep in mind that most U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the country.
For information, contact one of the following popular insurers:
- Access America (tel. 866/807-3982; www.accessamerica.com)
- Travel Guard International (tel. 800/826-4919; www.travelguard.com)
- Travel Insured International (tel. 800/243-3174; www.travelinsured.com)
- Travelex Insurance Services (tel. 888/457-4602; www.travelex-insurance.com)
What You Can Bring into and Take out of the UAE
You are allowed to bring in 2000 cigarettes, 400 cigars, 2kg tobacco; 2 liters of spirits, 2 liters of wine (non-Muslims only); a reasonable amount of gifts and perfume for personal use. There are no restrictions on currency and cameras.
For specifics on what you can bring back into your country of origin, see the following:
U.S. Citizens: For specifics on what you can bring back and the corresponding fees, download the invaluable free pamphlet Know Before You Go online at www.cbp.gov. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure") Or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667) and request the pamphlet.
Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
U.K. Citizens: For information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.
New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.