Dubai, the dazzling metropolis of the United Arab Emirates, beckons travelers with its towering skyscrapers, luxurious shopping experiences, and vibrant cultural scene. Every year, millions flock to this desert paradise, and a significant portion of these visitors hail from India.

According to VisaGuide.World, in 2023 alone, over 6 million Indians visited Dubai. This influx is no surprise, considering the strong cultural and economic ties between the two nations. Fortunately, for Indian travelers, obtaining a Dubai visa has become more convenient in recent years, with the introduction of the visa on arrival (VOA) program.

However, before you pack your bags and head to Dubai, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies of the VOA program and ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements. This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the essential information about the Dubai visa on arrival for Indian travelers, including eligibility criteria, application process, fees, and potential alternatives.

Who Qualifies for a Dubai Visa on Arrival (VOA)?


Not all Indian passport holders qualify for a Dubai Visa on Arrival. Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility criteria:

  • Valid passport ─ Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your intended arrival date in Dubai. Ensure it has sufficient blank pages for immigration stamps.
  • Travel history ─ To be eligible for the Visa on Arrival, you must hold a valid visa or green card issued by the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), or a residence permit from a European Union (EU) member country. These documents must also have a minimum validity of six months from your arrival date in Dubai.

Important note ─ Visa on Arrival eligibility and requirements can change. It’s crucial to confirm the latest information with the official UAE government website.

Benefits of Dubai Visa on Arrival for Indian Travelers

The Dubai Visa on Arrival offers several advantages for Indian travelers, including:

  • Convenience ─ This option eliminates the need for pre-application and eliminates processing times.
  • Cost-effectiveness ─ Compared to applying for a pre-arranged visa, the Visa on Arrival typically incurs a lower fee, payable upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Spontaneity ─ If you decide on a last-minute trip to Dubai, the Visa on Arrival allows for quick and flexible travel arrangements.

What are the Documents Required for a Dubai Visa on Arrival (VOA)?


If you fall under one of the eligible categories mentioned above, you’ll need to have the following documents in order to obtain a VOA in Dubai:

  • Original passport ─ Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival in Dubai and have at least two blank pages for immigration stamps.
  • Valid visa/residence permit ─ This refers to the valid US visa, UK residence permit, or EU residence permit that makes you eligible for the VOA program. Ensure it meets the minimum validity requirement of 6 months from your travel dates.
  • Onward/return ticket ─ Proof of onward or return travel from Dubai is mandatory. This could be a confirmed flight ticket or another form of documentation demonstrating your exit plans.
  • Travel insurance ─ While not mandatory, it’s highly advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and potential trip cancellations during your stay in Dubai.

What to Expect During the Dubai Visa on Arrival Process

Once you arrive at Dubai International Airport, proceed to the immigration counters designated for “Visa on Arrival.” Here’s what to expect:

  1. Arrival ─ Upon arrival at any UAE airport, proceed to the immigration counter.
  2. Documentation ─ Present your passport, return ticket, and proof of accommodation.
  3. Fee payment ─ Pay the visa fee (currently AED 100 for a 14-day visa).
  4. Processing ─ Immigration officials will verify your documents and may ask brief questions about your visit.
  • Online pre-approval (Optional) ─ Although the visa on arrival can be obtained directly at the airport, some travelers prefer to get pre-approval online for added convenience
  • Online application ─ Visit the official UAE immigration website or the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) portal.

Potential Drawbacks


While the Dubai visa on arrival offers numerous benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Limited duration ─ The visa on arrival is only valid for a maximum of 14 days, which can be extended for an additional 14 days. This may not be sufficient for travelers planning an extended stay in Dubai.
  • Eligibility restrictions ─ Not all Indian passport holders are eligible for the visa on arrival. Those without a valid visa or residence permit from the USA, UK, EU, or Schengen countries must apply for a pre-arrival visa.
  • Uncertainty ─ Relying on obtaining a visa on arrival can be risky, especially during peak travel seasons when immigration counters are crowded. There is a possibility of facing delays or other unforeseen issues.

Important Considerations for Dubai Visa on Arrival

While the Dubai Visa on Arrival offers a convenient option, there are crucial factors to keep in mind:

  • Validity ─ The current Visa on Arrival for Indian travelers is valid for a single entry with a maximum stay of 14 days. If you plan a longer stay, consider applying for a pre-arranged visa beforehand. There are options for 30-day and 90-day visas.
  • Extension ─ While extensions are not guaranteed, you can inquire about extending your stay at the immigration department within the initial 14 days. This process may involve additional fees.
  • Purpose of travel ─ The Dubai Visa on Arrival is primarily intended for tourism purposes. If you intend to work, study, or engage in business activities in Dubai, you will need to obtain a specific visa type that caters to your purpose.

Dubai Visa Status Check


To ensure your visa application is processed smoothly, it’s essential to keep track of your Dubai visa status. Here’s how you can perform a Dubai visa status check:

  1. Visit the official website ─ Go to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website.
  2. Enter details ─ Input your application number and passport details.
  3. Check status ─ Click on the ‘check status’ button to view the current status of your visa application.

This step is crucial to avoid any last-minute hassles and ensure that your travel plans go smoothly.

Beyond the Visa ─ Additional Travel Tips for Indian Visitors to Dubai

  • Currency exchange ─ The official currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). Exchange Indian Rupees (INR) to AED beforehand or use currency exchange services at the airport.
  • Local laws and customs ─ Dubai adheres to Islamic laws and customs. Familiarize yourself with these to ensure a respectful and enjoyable visit.
  • Accommodation ─ Dubai offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Book your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  • Travel insurance ─ Consider purchasing travel insurance to safeguard yourself against unexpected medical emergencies or travel disruptions.
  • Local transportation ─ Dubai boasts a well-developed public transportation system, including metro trains, trams, and buses. Taxis and ride-hailing apps are also readily available. Purchase a Nol Card for convenient travel on public transportation.
  • Dress code ─ While Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, adhering to a modest dress code is recommended, especially in public areas and religious sites. Opt for clothing that covers shoulders and knees for both men and women.
  • Etiquette ─ Respect local customs and traditions. Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon. When entering a mosque, ensure proper attire and follow designated prayer areas.
  • Bargaining ─ Bargaining is a common practice in Dubai’s traditional souks (markets). Enjoy the experience while striking a good deal!
  • Weather ─ Dubai experiences hot and arid weather throughout most of the year. Pack light, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are essential.


The Dubai Visa on Arrival presents a convenient option for Indian travelers seeking hassle-free entry into this captivating city. By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, and important considerations, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

Embrace the cultural richness, architectural marvels, and vibrant experiences that Dubai has to offer!

Remember: Always stay updated on the latest travel advisories and visa requirements before your trip.