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When you think of the best places to spend your vacation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates surely comes to mind.
As a Filipino, this city is a popular destination not only for work and business but also for relaxation and exploration. People from around the globe dream of seeing the iconic Burj Khalifa, driving through the Dubai Safari and eating local emirati cuisine in arguably the best place to do so. In ad banners, you see Dubai tourist visa packages that entice you with the stunning Dubai skyline paired with affordable Dubai visa fee deals.
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates or the UAE. The other emirates are Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain.
For Philippine passport holders, you will need a UAE visa / Dubai visa to enter this Arab country prior to your visit to Dubai. Because the purpose of this discussion is to aid you in your upcoming Dubai visit, we shall regard a UAE visa as Dubai visa, although not discarding the fact that it is also the same visa you need to have in order to go to the other emirates such as Abu Dhabi.
Filipinos with Philippine passports who wish to stay for a short term or long term are not entitled to visa on arrival. This entitlement is only applicable for transit or stopover visa qualifiers.
This article aims to help you understand the Dubai tourist visa rules updated by the government as of 2019. This time is actually a better time to travel to Dubai, UAE as the local government has launched in 2018 Dubai visa application regulations that are more pro-tourists and, in return, pro-economy.
- What do you need to consider before applying for a UAE visa / Dubai visa?
- What do you mean by sponsorship?
- What are the basic requirements for a Dubai tourist and visit visa?
- Where can I apply for a Dubai Visa in Manila, Philippines?
- Can I apply for a Dubai visa online?
- How much is the Dubai visa fee?
- How long is the Dubai visa processing time?
- My tourist visa is about to expire. Can I apply for a Dubai tourist visa extension?
What do you need to consider before applying for a UAE visa / Dubai visa?
You need to understand which visa you need according to your purpose. You must also keep in mind the Dubai visa validity before applying for one. Here are the several types of visas that are given to Filipino tourists:
- Tourist Visa – This visa can be short-term (30 days) or long-term (60 days.) The Dubai tourist visa validity is 60 days from the date it is issued. You will need sponsorship from a hotel or a tour operator. You cannot apply for a Dubai tourist visa on arrival.
Case in point: Anna is a Filipino with a Philippine passport. She wants to explore Dubai for 60 days. She contacts a local tour operator and submits necessary documents for her Dubai tourist visa application. She intends to stay at a hotel in Dubai Marina. The hotel provides her a document confirming her hotel booking. Anna may include this in the papers submitted to the local tour operator as part of the Dubai tourist visa requirements. Her visa gets approved and released on October 10. Anna has until December 30 to travel to the UAE before her visa expires.
- Visit Visa – This visa can be short-term (30 days) or long-term (90 days.) The Dubai visit visa validity is 60 days from the date it is issued. You will need sponsorship from a hotel, a tour operator or a UAE resident.
Case in point: John is a Filipino with a Philippine passport. His wife is an OFW in Dubai with a valid Dubai residence visa and a gross salary meeting the requirements for her to stand as a sponsor. He intends to visit her and stay in the country for 30 days. His wife then contacts a local tour operator and provides them with her residency details and an affidavit of support. She might also be asked to provide papers to prove that they are married. John’s wife, who is in Dubai, will be the one to apply for his visa locally. His visa gets approved and released on October 10. John has until December 30 to travel to the UAE before his visa expires.
- Transit or Stopover Visa – The Dubai transit or stopover visa validity is 48 to 96 hours. It can be applied for by travelers with a couple of hours to stay in Dubai or in any emirate, provided that they have a valid onward flight booking going outside of the country. You will need a confirmed hotel booking during the time you intend to stay in the UAE.
Case in point: Jo is travelling from Dublin, Ireland to Manila, Philippines with a Dubai, UAE stopover. She has 24 hours to spare before her next connecting flight. Upon arrival at the Dubai International Airport, she applies for a transit visa and meets the necessary requirements. She then has up to two days in the city. Alternatively, she can ask her airline if they can take care of her Dubai visa application on her behalf, as some carriers like Emirates Airlines offers such.
- Other UAE visa types that do not fall under travelling for tourism purposes include Work visa and Service visa.
Case in point: Charles wants to work in the UAE but all his efforts to apply from the Philippines has been unfruitful. He then decides to get a Tourist visa with 60 days validity and plans to use this time to look for a local job himself. The truth is, this is not discouraged by the local government of Dubai but can prove to be a challenge at the Philippine immigration. The city is filled with Filipino expatriates and they help keep the city running. Many were employed from the Philippines; some found jobs during their tourist visit. Still, the best way to enter Dubai for work is through a proper Work visa to be provided by the local employer.
You might have more questions now than when you first read this post. Assuming you already decided which visa suits your travel need, let’s move forward. Let’s try addressing some questions one by one:
What do you mean by sponsorship?
You need someone to stand as your sponsor for your Dubai visa application to progress. This means they take the responsibility of filing your Dubai visa application form for you. Simply put: whoever is your sponsor shall be the one to facilitate the submission of your requirements. For a Dubai tourist visa, it can be a friend, a hotel, an airline or a travel agency from Dubai. For a Dubai visit visa, it needs to be a relative who is a resident in Dubai whom your blood relation can be proven. You don’t need sponsorship for a Dubai transit or stopover visa.
What are the basic requirements for a Dubai tourist and visit visa?
- Clear passport copy with at least 6 months validity from the flight date, the second page and last page scanned
- Colored passport size photo in white background, scanned
- Signed Dubai visa application form, provided by sponsor
- Dubai visa fee (depending on your visa type validity)
Other documents you have to be ready to provide in case needed are as follows
- Round trip flight ticket
- Hotel booking
For a relative sponsoring you, he or she will be asked to provide
- Clear resident visa copy, scanned
- Emirates ID copy, scanned
- Salary certificate
- Labor contract
- Affidavit of support from the consulate
- Consanguinity proof or marriage certificate
- Other proofs of blood relation, especially if you do not share the same surname
For a hotel or an airline sponsoring you, they will request for the basic documents above and will require you to book their services in order to avail of the Dubai visa processing.
Where can I apply for a Dubai Visa in Manila, Philippines?
You can submit your Dubai Visa Application thru VFS:
Dubai Visa Application Center
Mezzanine Floor, Unit M01 Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Chino Roces Ave. Extension,
Makati City 1231,
Visa Application Submission Hours :
Monday to Friday 0700 – 1600 hours.
Contact Number: +632 897 6254
Can I apply for a Dubai visa online?
Yes, yet still through tour operators. Airlines also accept online applications via their websites. Visit the website of the Government of Dubai Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship for all government-assisted visit visa services.
How much is the Dubai visa fee?
Different agencies will have different visa costs. To find the cheapest Dubai tourist visa, you will have to visit trusted tour operator websites and compare prices. Your friend or relative from Dubai most likely has a travel agency of choice, so it is wise to ask from people who are in the city. A sample Dubai tourist visa price can be found in the Emirates website.
You can use this as a guide for your visa fee:
Visit visa for 90 days – 805 AED
Tourist visa for 30 days – 335 AED
Express Tourist Visa for 30 days – 415 AED
14 Days Visa – 435 AED / Express : 511 AED
90 Days Multiple Entry Long term Visa: 1655 AED
30 Days Multiple Entry Short Term Visa: 655 AED
How long is the Dubai visa processing time?
Expect your visa within 2 to 7 days, excluding weekends and UAE holidays. Note that in Dubai, Fridays and Saturdays are what they regard as weekend days.
My tourist visa is about to expire. Can I apply for a Dubai tourist visa extension?
Not too long ago, if you would like to apply for another tourist visa or extend your current visa, you are required to exit the country, process your papers, and then come back. Now, Dubai tourist visa renewal after expiry is possible under the same tour operator you processed your tourist visa with. You can extend the same visa for 30 days twice for a corresponding price. Contact your travel agency for their Dubai visa extension offer. Do this prior to the expiration of your Dubai visa.
I hope that this Visa guide will help you to secure your tourist visa in Dubai, UAE!