Tuesday, July 12, 2011

UAE visa information

My husband and I went to Belgium for a few days last week. As soon as we checked-in and went through customs, he received a message in Arabic which, of course, neither of us understood…

As he was about to delete it, I decided to take a quick look. Among the many unfamiliar words, I recognized a small piece of information: my passport number.

Without hesitation, I approached a local and asked for a translation. Boy was I surprised to learn that every single time I enter and leave the country, my husband receives a notification. Can you believe that?

It’s a good thing I am completely in love with my husband and our marriage is going great, otherwise I would have to start planning a way to sneak out of here without him knowing about it…

Jokes aside, this standard procedure has nothing to do with the control of men over women (at least I like to think it has nothing to do with it). It is related to the UAE visa rules and regulations.

In our case, for example, in order to live in the UAE, my husband is sponsored by the company he works for and I am sponsored by my husband. Therefore the SMS message…

Here is an overview on what you need to know if you are planning a visit to the UAE:

-         If you are a GCC national you do not need a visa to enter the UAE

-         If you are a national of one of the countries listed below, you will be granted a free-of-charge visa upon arrival:

UK (with the right of abode in UK), France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong

-         If your country is not listed above, you will need to get a visa through a sponsor such as hotels and tourism agencies, airlines (mostly transit visas), organizations (usually if you are coming for a meeting or interview) and individuals (family or friends of yours who live here and have a residency visa).

More details on UAE Interact


  1. Forgive my ignorance... What is GCC national?

  2. Hi Gustavo, sorry, my bad... I should have explained it better. When I say GCC nationals, I am referring to people born in the following countries, which are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. I have now attached a link to the word GCC for those who want more information on that. Great to hear from you again!