How to Apply for a Dubai Visa for South Africans

dubai visa application guide

Have you ever longed to catch the breath-taking sights offered from the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Or are you thinking of having a thrilling time in Abu Dhabi’s branded theme park of Ferrari World? The United Arab Emirates offers far more attractions than this! To make your dream of exploring this destination a reality, read this guide on how to apply for a Dubai visa!

This guide will explain the Dubai visa application process in South Africa. You will need to apply at the UAE Embassy in Pretoria or one of VFS Global’s Visa Processing Centres in South Africa. You can also apply online with VFS Global’s website, through Emirates or with Etihad. The earliest you can apply for a UAE visa is 3 months before you travel.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders

Types of Visas to Apply for:

dubai visa types

There are 7 Dubai visa types. The nature of your visit will determine which visa is suitable for you.

  • If you plan to spend less than 4 days in the United Arab Emirates, apply for the 96-hour visa. This also serves as a transit visa, and if your layover is at least 8 hours in the UAE, you will need this visa.
  • Are you spending less than 30 days in the UAE? Then you can apply for the 30-day short-term visa.
  • In the event that you need to leave the country and return, you can get the multi-entry short-term visa. This visa entitles you to stay up to 30 days per visit.
  • Are you travelling to any of the seven Emirates for a series of events? You should apply for the 90-day long-term visa.
  • If your travels in and out of the UAE end up taking longer than a month, apply for the multi entry long term visa. This visa lets you make many entries into the country at 90 days per stay. This visa is also applicable if you’re travelling in and out of the United Arab Emirates for business.
  • Should you be a GCC resident (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE), you can apply for the 30-day (GCC Resident) visa.
  • If you’re travelling with a GCC resident, you are welcome to apply for the 30-day (GCC Accompanied) Visa.
  • You will not need a visa if you are passing through the UAE and your layover is less than 8 hours. But you will need to remain at the airport until your next flight.
  • For more information on the different types of Dubai visas, get a free visa quote with Visa Box.

Validity

All UAE visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issue to enter Dubai. This excludes the 96-hour visa, which is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Your passport will also need to be valid for at least six months after your departure from the UAE.

The processing time for each visa type is 3-4 working days.

Are you applying via Emirates, Etihad, or VFS Global? You will receive your visa via the email you applied with.

Visa Costs:

dubai visa costss

The prices of the various visa types depend on which company you use to apply for your Dubai visa.

96-hour visa: R 760 – R 980
30-day short term visa (single entry): R 1,232 – R 1,370
30-day short term visa (multi entry): R 2,400 – R 2,730
90-day long term visa (single entry): R 2,840 – R 4,520
90-day long term visa (multi entry): R 6,510 – R 6,390
30-day (GCC Accompanied): R 1,215 – R 1,515
30-day (GCC Resident): R 1,215 – R 1,515

The VFS Global Dubai processing centres have payment facilities. Should you be applying through the Emirates website and the Etihad website, you can pay online

Dubai Visa Requirements:

All UAE visa types require the following documents:

  • The completed application form (a form is also available on VFS Global)
  • Copy of flight ticket
  • Two colour photographs with white backgrounds (size: 4.3 cm x 5.5 cm)
  • Colour copy of passport (must be valid for at least six months after your departure from the UAE)
  • Letter from the bank stating that you have enough funds to travel to the United Arab Emirates
  • Letter from your employer stating that you are employed with your company and what position you hold
  • Hotel booking confirmation (if applicable)
  • Travel itinerary

Is your 90-day / Multi-Entry Long-Term visa application for the sake of visiting family? You will need these documents:

  • Host passport copy
  • Host covering letter
  • Proof of relationship

Should you be visiting the UAE for business, you will need the following documents:

  • Hotel confirmation
  • Company covering letter
  • Host company invitation letter / Host resident permit with passport copy

Where to Apply:

At the Embassy

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates – Pretoria

Address: 992 Arcadia St, Arcadia
Contact: +27 12 342 7736 / uae@mweb.co.za
Hours: Monday to Friday – 09h00 to 12h00

Parking is available on the premises. Taxis, buses and Uber options are available to get you to the embassy as well.

Online

You can apply online via VFS Global, Emirates and Etihad. If you are flying with Emirates, you will need to use the “Manage your booking” tool to apply online (your flight ticket is required before applying). You will need your booking reference to start the process. For VFS Global, you have to finalise the process by paying at one of their processing centres in South Africa (see below).

Dubai Visa Processing Centres

You can also apply at these processing centres.

DVPC – Johannesburg

Address: Sandton City, Office Tower, 2nd floor, Sandton
Contact: 011 783 0410 / 011 783 1941 / infodvpcsa@dubaivisa.net
Hours: Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 12h30; 13h30 to 15h00

Parking is available in the Sandton City mall.

DVPC – Cape Town

Address: 5th Floor, Strand Building, 47 On Strand Street, Cape Town
Contact: 021 423 6573 / infodvpccpt@dubaivisa.net
Hours: Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 12h30; 13h30 to 15h00

Limited parking bays are available around Strand Building.

DVPC – Durban

Address: Unit – 6, Crystal Rock, 16 Solstice Road, Umhlanga Ridge New Town, Umhlanga Ridge
Contact: 031 584 7153 / infodvpcdur@dubaivisa.net
Hours: Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 12h30; 13h30 to 15h00

Parking is available at Crystal Rock. 

Take note that these Dubai visa processing centres are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and South African Public Holidays.

How to book an appointment

dubai visa application form

Should you be visiting the embassy or the Dubai visa processing centres, remember these steps:

  • Submit the required documents.
  • Complete the application form.
  • Pay the application fee.

If you’re applying online, take note of the following:

  • Visit the application pages of either VFS Global, Emirates and Etihad to start applying for your UAE visa (make sure to have your flight ticket with Emirates for this step).
  • Complete the online application form.
  • Upload copies of your documents.
  • Pay the application fee online via debit/credit card (Only Visa and MasterCards are accepted).
  • You will receive a confirmation email once the payment is successful.
  • Should your application be successful, a visa copy will be sent to the email you provide in the application form.
  • With VFS Global, you will need to visit the processing centres afterwards for verification and payment (make sure to have required documentation when doing this).

Where to print your documents:

dubai visa where to print

You can get all the required documents for your UAE visa at the following places. They are all situated near to the embassy and the Dubai visa processing centres.

In Pretoria:

PostNet Eastwood Village

Address: Shop 28 Eastwood Village SC,cnr Eastwood &, Pretorius St, Arcadia
Contact: 012 342 4390 / eastwoods@postnet.co.za
Hours: Monday – Friday: 08h00 to 18h00; Saturday: 09h00 to 13h00

In Johannesburg:

PostNet Sandton City

Address: Shop L38B Ground Floor Entrance 7 Sandton City Rivonia Road &, 5th St, Sandhurst, Sandton
Contact: 011 783 6810 / sandtoncity@postnet.co.za
Hours: Monday – Friday: 07h00 to 20h00; Saturday: 09h00 to 20h00; Sundays and Public Holidays: 09h00 to 18h00

In Cape Town:

PostNet Cape Town Long Street

Address: Shop 8, No 2 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre
Contact: 021 418 1630 / longstreet@postnet.co.za
Hours: Mondays – Tuesdays & Thursdays – Fridays: 08h00 to 16h30; Wednesday: 08h30 to 16h30; Saturday: 08h30 to 12h00

In Durban:

Jetline

Address: Solstice Rd & Millennium Blvd, Umhlanga Ridge, Umhlanga
Contact: 031 566 4627 / durban@jetline.co.za
Hours: Mondays – Fridays: 08h00 to 17h00; Saturday: 09h00 to 12h00

Foto First

Address: Shop F229, Level 1, Gateway Theatre of Shopping
Contact: 031 566 1622 / ffgateway@newteltron.co.za
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 09h00 to 19h00; Friday – Saturday: 09h00 to 21h00; Sunday: 09h00 to 18h00

Now that you have all you need to know about applying for a Dubai visa, book a flight to the UAE with Travelstart! Whether you apply via VFS Global, Emirates or Etihad (which includes a stopover in Abu Dhabi), you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time exploring this exotic country in the Middle East.

Find your direct Emirate flight from Johannesburg to Dubai today!

 

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Good Day, myself and my freinds would like to visit Dubai in November, when is the right to apply for visa, also i will be sponsoring the trip but my friends have full time jobs, will be it be difficult to get visa for all of us since im sponsoring

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      It does not state how far in advance one is able to apply for a visa for Dubai but it takes approximately 4 working days.

      It is up to the discretion of the Embassy and official visa handling agency who gets granted a visa.

      I would suggest contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct and they will be able to advise what further documents they would require if you are sponsoring someone else’s trip.

      Embassy of the United Arab Emirates – Pretoria

      Address: 992 Arcadia St, Arcadia
      Contact: +27 12 342 7736 / uae@mweb.co.za
      Hours: Monday to Friday – 09h00 to 12h00

      or

      DVPC – Johannesburg

      Address: Sandton City, Office Tower, 2nd floor, Sandton
      Contact: 011 783 0410 / 011 783 1941 / infodvpcsa@dubaivisa.net
      Hours: Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 12h30; 13h30 to 15h00

  2. Hi There
    I’m planning a return trip to Alaska using Emirates. The plan is to stay with a friend in Abu Dhabi from arrival in the UAE on the 22nd December 2018 (07:35) and then leave for Alaska on the 25th December 2018 (08:10).
    On my return from Alaska to Cape Town, I have a 8h20min layover in Dubai on 4 January 2019. What kind of visa do you recommend I apply for?
    Kind regards
    Stefan

    • Hi Stefan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you will be travelling with Emirates please contact them direct or VFS which is the official visa handling agency. You will need to provide them with your flight itinerary details and they will be able to advise on what visa you would require, the correct procedures to follow, what documents you would need when applying for the visa and the cost.

      EMIRATES AIRLINES – contact VFS Global directly on 011 783 1941, 021 423 6573 and 031 584 7153 this applies only to Emirates Airlines passengers. VFS Global, also known as DVPC- Dubai Visa Processing Centre, will be processing all visas for passengers travelling to Dubai on Emirates Airlines. If the passenger is flying Emirates Airlines only & the exit & entry is from Dubai Airport only, the passenger can apply through VFS Global (Pty) – Please click here for Emirates (EK) visa details
      For cruises, 2 single entry visas are required, refer to VFS Global (Pty) for more information.

  3. Hi

    We are returning to South Africa with a 10 hour layover in Dubai. Do we need to apply for a transit visa? If yes, can we leave the airport with this visa?

    Thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read our blog: “How to Apply for a Dubai Visa for South Africans” here we do provide all the relevant information.

      One of the things we have mentioned:

      If you plan to spend less than 4 days in the United Arab Emirates, apply for the 96-hour visa. This also serves as a transit visa, and if your layover is at least 8 hours in the UAE, you will need this visa.

      As do recommend you contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency to get the most up todate information as this could change at anytime.

  4. I am impressed with the kind of knowledge you have about UAE visa. I appreciate sharing it with readers. If one goes by whatever you’ve mentioned, then there won’t be any need to contact or scout the UAE Immigration website for information. This blog provides more than what the official website does.

  5. Good morning,

    I will go from Cape Town to Poland and flight stop in Dubai.
    Could You advise if I need visa if I wouldn’t leave airport and I will stay 7 and return 5 hours in Dubai?

    Thank You.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are flying on a South African passport and will be in transit in Dubai for 7 or 5 hours you would not need a transit visa.

      However this information could change at anytime and you will need to contact VFS Global directly on 011 783 1941, 021 423 6573 and 031 584 7153 this applies only to Emirates Airlines passengers.

      They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  6. hi

    if you are travelling with another airline- not emirates or ethiaad how do you get a visa for dubai?

    • HI Nasreen,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      On our Blog “How to Apply for a Dubai Visa for South Africans” we have mentioned the following information:

      Where to Apply:
      At the Embassy
      Embassy of the United Arab Emirates – Pretoria

      Address: 992 Arcadia St, Arcadia
      Contact: +27 12 342 7736 / uae@mweb.co.za
      Hours: Monday to Friday – 09h00 to 12h00

      You also welcome to contact VFS Global, they are an official visa handling agency you can apply through for a visa for the UAE.

      All the information is provided on the blog as well as links and contact details.

  7. Hi

    I was blacklisted in south africa in last year and they stamped my passport with a stamp written vlisted.now i want to apply for a visa to UAE.will they accept my application?does a ban in one country mean a ban in all other countries? Please help

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As we are not the ones granting the visa we are not able to say.

      This could have an effect as this would be on record however it is up to the discretion of the Embassy if they would grant you a visa.

      Best to contact them direct to see what information they would be able to provide on this.

  8. I plan to travel to Dubai and stay with family for about 2 weeks and fly onwards to New Zealand for about 4 weeks. On my return from New Zealand via Dubai I plan to stay another week with family before returning back to Johannesburg. I plan to fly with Emirates for the total journey. Please advise what type of Visa I require for Dubai.

    Below is the link:

    http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/dubai-visa-application-for-south-africans/

    Here you can read up on our blog. We do recommend you contact the airline direct to get the most up to date information, as visa information could change at anytime.

    • Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read our Blog “How to Apply for a Dubai Visa for South Africans” Here we give all the relevant info including: “Types of Visas to Apply for”

  9. Hi

    Good article and thorough as well. There are however a few things that I think it misses, and speaking from experience travelling there to work quite often.

    1. When you apply for an evisa, the requirements are much simpler, mostly scanned copy of passport and photo, plus you don’t have to send in your passport. You get the visa emailed to you and they scan it at the airport. (on a side note… Dubai is the first country in the wold to have a minister of Ai! How great is that?)

    2. For tourist visas you mostly do not need a police clearance certificate or any documents notarised, but alas for work visas and other types of visas to Dubai you might need it.

    This being said, most visa firms only assist you with your visa, but there are a few firms that can assist you with your Dubai visa, police clearance certificates and document attestation needs, should you need it. I have been using a company called Visa Logistics for the past year or so. They are fast, friendly and to be honest quicker than most previous companies I have used. Use them or do not use them, just a suggestion to your readers.

    Stephen

    • Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your feedback which we always appreciate. As mentioned in our disclaimer: All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

      However I have passed your comments onto our SEO team to look into as all feedback is welcomed and updates made where possible.

  10. We are flying to Dubai with Ethiopian Airlines from Johannesburg, can we go to a VFS centre for visas. Are the other easier options perhaps?
    This might be a stupid question but what is a PNR on the VFS Global online application form?

    • Hi Wally,

      Great to hear from you.

      Yes this is possible. VFS is the official visa handling agency where you apply for your visa.

      The PNR number is the (Passenger Name Record) which is your airline reference number.

  11. Hi

    My daughter would like to get the job in Dubai for hospitality . As a parent i need your advice on that.

    • Hi Amanda,

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in work visa. I would suggest contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency to see if they would be able to provide you with info on reputable recruitment agencies for people wanting to work in the UAE.

  12. Hi David
    We (myself; wife and daughter) intend to visit friends in Abu Dhabi during the first week of the June school holidays. We are teachers do we need a confirmation letter from the Department of Education to show that we are teachers or can we get one from the school where we are teaching?

    • Hi Wilfred,

      A letter from the school that you employed from should be fine. However as we are not the ones granting the visa’s it is best to contact the airline or Embassy direct as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on what documents would be required (as this info could have changed at any time)

  13. Hi Travelstart,

    I will be staying with a friend in Dubai while I volunteer.

    What do I need from my friend in order to apply for a 30-day short term visa? Other than a host invitation letter and a copy of my host’s passport, do I need proof of relationship? If so, what qualifies as proof in this instance?

    I also have an invitation letter from the company I’ll be volunteering for.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    • Hi Jess,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read our blog: “How to Apply for a Dubai Visa for South Africans” this is quite informative.

      However as we do not specialise in visa requests and queries, we do recommend you contact the airline or Embassy for the most up to date info.

  14. Hi. I’m travelling to Dubai for training purposes. Going to do a course there for 3 weeks. What documents would I then require?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Your welcome to read our Blog you have contacted us on. Here we provide all info on, how to apply for a Duba visa for South African passport holders. Should you have any other questions you welcome to contact the official visa handling agencies who specialise in this area and they will be able to assist. Their contact details have also been provided in our Blog.

  15. I have been invited by a friend who will sponsor my visit and stay , for a few weeks , is this difficult as someone else will be paying
    Thank you
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You will need all the relevant documents when applying for a visa. Even if a friend or family member is sponsoring your trip. It is then up to the discretion of the Embassy if they will grant the visa.

  16. thank you for the information.
    i have been offered an all expenses paid 3 day visit to Dubai.
    i do not have a passport at present.
    departure date is 31 January 2018.
    what is the quickest way to get a passport and visa intime for the travel.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Applying for a passport and visa will depend on the backlog.

      For this you will need to contact Home Affairs who issue the passports. They will be able to advise on the waiting time.

      You welcome to read our blog in applying for a visa for Dubai, here we provide all the relevant info and contact details where to apply.

  17. Hi

    I recently got UAE residency but I will be travelling to Dubai with my wife who is not a UAE resident. How do I sponsor her to get her visa? What process do I follow?

    • Hi Muhammad,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please contact VFS Global directly on 011 783 1941, 021 423 6573 or 031 584 7153

      This applies only to Emirates Airlines passengers. VFS Global, also known as DVPC- Dubai Visa Processing Centre, will be processing all visas for passengers travelling to Dubai on Emirates Airlines. If the passenger is flying Emirates Airlines only & the exit & entry is from Dubai Airport only, the passenger can apply through VFS Global (Pty)

  18. I had a one night layover in Dubai in December and was under the impression/info that a visa will be issued at the airport. This wasn’t the case. I was referred by Customs to Emirates where I had to apply for a visa which costs $131. I already booked accommodation about 6 months in advance and could not cancel it. Otherwise I would be stuck at the airport for at least 20 hours. However, if you are flying with Emirates and you have a layover of longer than 8 hours but less than 22 hours you may qualify for free visa, accommodation and transport. T& C’s apply. Visit their website and search for Dubai Connect.

    • Bernadene, thank you for this tip!!!

  19. Hi,
    If one has already been to the UAE on a visit does paperwork becomes less cumbersome (and fees less?)

    • Hi Yunis,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I would think the paper work and procedure is still the same. Please get in touch with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Pretoria they will be able to answer any visa related queries you might have.

      Their contact details and opening hours:

      Address: 992 Arcadia St, Arcadia
      Contact: +27 12 342 7736 / uae@mweb.co.za
      Hours: Monday to Friday – 09h00 to 12h00

  20. Hi
    This is great!
    We have already booked our tickets Amsterdam to Cape Town. We have decided to do a lay-over in Dubai.
    Do we do the 96 hour visa at the airport, or 1 month prior?

    • Hi Sham,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you plan to spend less than 4 days in the United Arab Emirates, apply for the 96-hour visa. This also serves as a transit visa, and if your layover is at least 8 hours in the UAE, you will need this visa.

      Please contact the airline or Embassy direct with regards to any visa related queries. As they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on the correct procedures to follow and how to apply.

  21. Can I apply for the 96 hour visa if I arrive on the 15th January in the afternoon in Dubai and leave on the 18th January?

    • Hi Busi,

      Great to hear from you.

      If you plan to spend less than 4 days in the United Arab Emirates, apply for the 96-hour visa. This also serves as a transit visa, and if your layover is at least 8 hours in the UAE, you will need this visa.

      Please contact VFS Global directly they specialise in visa’s for the UAE and will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

      Their contact details are: 021 423 6573 and 031 584 7153

  22. Im visiting Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi, do I need a multi entry visa?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch and for the interesting question.

      For Dubai and Abu Dhabi you will get one visa as they are part of the UAE. And for Oman you will need to apply for a separate visa.

      I contacted Emirates who confirmed. this.

  23. Comprehensive information, to the point, easy to comprehend.

  24. I have no friends or relatives in Dubai but I love that place, I wish to travel and work there, I’m employed full time in SA.

    • Hi Mirriet,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read up on our blog how to apply for a tourist visa. All the relevant info is provided.

      However just a friendly reminder to please always follow up with the official visa handling to get the most up to date information on cost, what documents are required and the correct procedures to follow.

  25. much needed info for me. thank you David

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