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How to Apply for a Dubai Visa: What You Need to Know

Dubai is one of the most sought-after destinations in the Middle East, with its ultramodern cityscapes and luxurious lifestyle and shopping opportunities.

The city offers scenic sights and thrilling attractions that could definitely be on anyone’s bucket list. Which is why it’s no surprise how popular it has become among Filipino travelers.

But before you prepare to go to Dubai, ask yourself first: Do I need a visa? If you’re a Philippine passport holder, you’ll have to acquire a UAE visa to be able to enter Dubai. Not sure what we’re talking about? Let us walk you through the application process and how you can make your dream Dubai trip a reality.

What does UAE stand for?

Burj Khalifa DubaiBurj Khalifa

It stands for the United Arab Emirates. In this territory are seven emirates:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai (the largest and most populous)
  • Ajman
  • Sharjah
  • Ras al Khaimah
  • Fujairah
  • Umm al-Quwain

Do you need a UAE visa?

Philippine passport holders entering the United Arab Emirates are required to have a visa. Meanwhile, citizens of any member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) do not need a visa, and visa-on-arrival can be acquired for free at UAE airports for passport holders of these countries.

UAE visa types

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Dubai
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

Once you’ve confirmed that you must acquire a visa, it’s time to know what type of visa you should get. There are different types of visas issued by the UAE, but below are the three types best for tourists and those visiting short-term.

(Take note that all visas are filed by a sponsor. A sponsor can be a relative who resides in the countryor if you don’t have connections, a UAE airline, hotel, or travel agency. Applications without a sponsor will not be processed.)

  • Tourist Visa: Depending on your plan, this permits the holder to stay in the country for 30 or 90 days. You may be granted a single-entry or multiple-entry visa.
  • Visit Visa: If you have an immediate relative residing in the country, they can act as your sponsor and file your application for you. The permit is also available for 30 or 90 days.
  • Transit Visa: If you’re just passing by or having a quick layover and want to explore Dubai a little bit, you can apply for a transit visa. These are issued either for 48 hours or 96 hours (including your arrival and departure dates). Take note that once you’re issued a 48 hours visa, it cannot be extended to 96 hours. Transit visas can be arranged by a UAE-based airline. 

Filing your UAE visa: The requirements

Dubai Desert
Arabian Desert Sand Dunes

Here are the basic documents you need to prepare when applying for a UAE visit. Take note that documents will also depend on your sponsor. If you’re filing with a UAE airline, they will ask for your flight tickets, while hotels will require booking confirmation. 

  • Scanned copy of your passport: Prepare a copy of the bio page (page 2) and the last page. Your passport must be valid for at least six months.
  • Two colored passport-size ID photos with white background.
  • Accomplished application form. Application form formats depend on your sponsor.
  • Visa fee: Prices may also vary depending on your sponsor or where you apply. 

Other supporting documents that may be required:

  • Round trip flight reservations
  • Hotel booking
  • Employment Certificate or Work Contract
  • NSO Birth Certificate (for those traveling with a minor)
  • Original Bank Certificate
  • Copy of Income Tax Return
  • Resident visa and Emirates ID: This may be required if you’re sponsored by someone in the UAE.

Optional documents:

  • A copy of UAE entry and exit stamps on your passport if you have traveled to the territory within the past year.
  • A copy of Schengen, UK, USA, Canada, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand visas issued to you within the past five years.

Where to submit

Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai United Arab Emirates
Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Once you have all your requirements ready, this is where your sponsor comes in. Just turn over all your documents and they’ll take care of the rest of your application. All you have to do is wait. Visa processing time is approximately two to seven working days depending on where you apply.

UAE Airline

If you are applying via one of the UAE-based airlines, you can apply online here:

UAE Hotels

Most Dubai hotels with at least a three-star rating offer visa processing services. If you already have a hotel in mind, try checking in with them through email or check their official website for more information.

Jumeirah Group of hotels, which owns the iconic Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and more provides visa processing services.

Some tips

Sheikh Zayed Rd Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Gather and double-check your requirements: Make sure all your documents are in place before turning it over to your sponsor for processing. This will prevent back and forth or other issues that may hinder you from getting your visas issued.
  • Include as many supporting documents as you can: Although it may not be required, having additional documents can help get your visa approved.
  • Research and find the best deal for you: Look through as many hotels or travel agencies to find the best sponsor and cost for visa processing.

Ready to visit Dubai? Let Traveloka help you in finding the best hotel deal and flights to Dubai for your upcoming adventure!



The information contained in this article is up-to-date as of February 2020 and may be updated occasionally. Given the changing nature of laws, rules, and regulations of visas, there may be outdated information in this article. The information contained on this webpage is intended to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader only. 

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