UAE Tightens Visiting Visa Rules: Essential Documents and Travel Tips

The latest guidelines regarding UAE visiting visas have raised concerns among many planning to travel to the country. Affi Ahammad, MD of Smart Travels, emphasizes the importance of keeping all necessary documents ready to ensure hassle-free travel. The updated guidelines specify that passengers arriving on a visiting visa should carry:

A valid return ticket

The address of friends or relatives they plan to stay with, ideally traveling from India with the relative they will be staying with

A passport with at least six months validity

A copy of their Emirates ID

Proof of 5000 dirhams in their account or an equivalent amount in currency

While the requirement to carry a bank statement for the last six months isn’t strict, travelers should have at least 3000 dirhams or a credit card with the stipulated limit.

Rules Relaxed in 2020, but…

The above rules existed earlier but were relaxed in September 2020 due to concerns from travel agencies that strict guidelines would deter job aspirants and negatively impact businesses. Now, the government has reinstated stricter guidelines, causing difficulties for many, especially those who cannot meet the financial requirements.

Increased Detentions

Travelers, including many Malayalis, have been detained at Indian airports and prevented from boarding flights due to failure to meet these guidelines. Those who managed to land in Dubai have also faced detentions by immigration authorities. The stricter guidelines have particularly affected young job seekers eager to find employment in the UAE, as many come from financially struggling families and cannot easily arrange the required funds.

No New Vacancies, Boost for Tourism

The number of job seekers arriving on visiting visas increased significantly post-COVID-19. However, as the financial sector recovers slowly, new vacancies haven’t been created, leaving many job aspirants in UAE struggling to find employment. Experts in the travel and tourism industry believe that these stricter guidelines will boost the tourism sector by making immigration procedures more transparent and reducing difficulties caused by miscommunication.

Address Proof Issues

Many passengers detained at Dubai airport were the first to face issues due to lack of proper travel documents. While most could show they had the required funds, they failed to provide address proof of relatives or other accommodation details. This lack of documentation led to detentions and long waits at the airport, causing significant inconvenience. Travelers reported that they were not informed about the stricter guidelines by their travel agents, who claim they were also unaware of the changes.

Travelers to the UAE on visiting visas must now adhere to stricter documentation requirements, including proof of funds and accommodation details, to avoid detentions and ensure smooth travel.

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