UAE transit visa: How to apply for 48-hour or 96-hour permit during stopover

Instead of sitting idly at the airport, you might as well explore the country and enjoy it in small doses


Elizabeth Gonzales

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Published: Sat 1 Jun 2024, 10:23 AM

Last updated: Mon 1 Jul 2024, 6:06 PM

Travelling abroad requires a lot of preparation, from arranging the trip to fit your schedule and saving up for the upcoming travel, to visa application.

If you have a long-haul flight and you wish to stopover in the UAE, a transit visa is what you need.

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Instead of sitting idly at the airport, you might as well explore the country and enjoy it in small doses. Who knows, after this short experience, you'll decide to come back to the country and stay for much longer.

Here's how you can get a transit visa:


To get a transit visa, you must have:

  • passport with a minimum validity of three months
  • photo against a white background
  • ticket booking to a third destination, other than the one you are coming from

How to apply

These days, travel scams are rampant and busy travellers are easy, susceptible targets. As a traveller, you have to remember that only the UAE-based airlines you're travelling with can arrange your transit visa before your trip.

If you are thinking of getting a transit visa to the UAE, make sure to communicate this to your airline. If you booked your trip through a travel agency, the agency can help you get the visa. You have to remember, though, that all visas are routed through the airline.

Your agency and airline agents will sort everything out for you, but it's always best to follow-up and verify with them.

Where to buy your tickets

Since only UAE-based airlines can apply for a transit visa on your behalf, make sure that you buy your plane tickets only from airlines that are based in the country.

If you wish to visit Dubai, for instance, you have to buy your tickets from either Emirates Airline or Fly Dubai. Meanwhile, if you wish to visit Abu Dhabi, get your tickets from either Etihad Airways or Air Arabia.

Duration of visa

Your transit visa is valid for 48 hours or for 96 hours. However, if you've been issued a 48-hour transit visa, you cannot request to have it extended to 96 hours.

Transit visas for 48 hours are free, and valid for 48 hours from from entry into the UAE. Since the visa cannot be extended or renewed, you must leave the country within 48 hours from arrival.

Meanwhile, for a 96-hour transit visa, you need to pay Dh50. This visa is valid for 96 hours from entry into the country, requiring you to leave the country within 96 hours from arrival. This visa is also not extendable, nor renewable.

No additional fees

Before leaving the country, you only have to pay a departure fee of Dh300, and that's it. No additional fees will be collected from you. If any organisation or agency asks you to make extra payment, refuse and remember that it isn't allowed. If they insist on collecting an extra payment from you, you can report to airport authorities.


A transit visa is not for everyone. You can just get off your flight at Dubai International and proceed to immigration, and you'll be allowed to stay in the UAE for 30 days, if you're a passport holder of the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • Ukraine
  • UK and Northern Ireland
  • US
  • Vatican City

You are eligible for a multiple entry 90‑day visit visa that's valid for 6 months from the date of issue, and for a stay of 90 days in total. You are also entitled to apply for a pre‑arranged visit visa if you've used up your 90‑day visa on arrival if you're a passport holder of one of these countries:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas Islands
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan


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