Visa Info for Visiting Dubai and the UAE

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Are you thinking about taking a trip over to the city of the moment, Dubai?

With its ‘above the cloud’ skyscrapers, fast cars, super yachts, beach clubs and world class dining, there is no surprise that visitors to Dubai are rising year on year.

As a South African, you will need to apply for a visa for your trip. Here is what you need to know.


You must be granted your visa before you travel

This is very important. It will not be possible to obtain your visa when you arrive in the country.

You will not need a visa if your layover is less than 8 hours. You will however need to remain at the airport.


How to apply for a visa?

To apply for a visa for Dubai and the UAE, you will need to submit your application with the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, or through the VFS Global Websites, through Emirates or with Etihad.


When to apply for a visa?

You cannot apply for your visa earlier than 3 months before you travel. Visas take between 3 to 4 working days to be approved.


Types for visa’s available

There are multiple different visa types available to you.

  • 96-hour visa – for if you are planning to spend less than 4 days in the UAE. This can also be used as a transit visa if your layover is at least 8 hours.
  • 30-day short term visa
  • Multi-entry, short term visa – this visa is for if you need to leave and return to the country multiple times. You can stay up to 30 days per visit.
  • 90-day long term visa
  • Multi-entry long term visa – this allows you to leave and return to the country multiple times, staying up to 90 days each time.


Visa validity

The above listed visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issue to the date that you enter Dubai/UAE, except for the 96-hour visa which is valid for 30days from date of issue.

You will also need to make sure that you have at least 6 months validity after your planned departure from the UAE left on your passport.


UAE Visa requirements

You will need the following documents to enable you to apply for your visa to visit the UAE.


  • A completed application form
  • Copy of your flight tickets
  • Two colour passport style photographs
  • A colour copy of your passport
  • A letter from you bank confirming that you have enough funds to travel to the UAE
  • A letter from your employer stating your employment with them and the position you hold
  • If you are staying in a hotel, a confirmation of booking
  • Travel itinerary


Where to apply

The UAE Embassy, Pretoria:

992 Arcadia St, Arcadia

+27 12 342 7736 /


VFS Global:




Dubai Visa Processing Centres

DVPC – Johannesburg

Sandton City, Office Tower, 2nd floor, Sandton

011 783 0410 / 011 783 1941


DVPC – Cape Town

5th Floor, Strand Building, 47 On Strand Street, Cape Town

021 423 6573


DVPC – Durban

Unit – 6, Crystal Rock, 16 Solstice Road, Umhlanga Ridge New Town, Umhlanga Ridge

031 584 7153


Now you have all the information needed to apply for your visa, it is time to book your travel insurance!


Find out more about our travel insurance policies here:

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