UAE (Dubai) Visa Application

UAE (Dubai) Visa Application

South African passport holders need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates. Fortunately, this guide explains the entire process. The easiest way to apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is online via Emirates or Etihad. Alternatively, if you are flying with another airline, you must apply in person at the Dubai Visa Processing Centres (DVPC), also known as VFS Global, in South Africa. Processing time can take up to 7 working days.

Competition duration
Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

Types of Visas

96-hour Visa - if you are transiting through the UAE and your layover is at least 8 hours. It allows you to stay for up to 4 days in the UAE

Validity: 4 days from arrival

30-day Short-Term Visa - for regular tourist purposes. It allows you to stay for up to 30 days in the UAE

Validity: 30 days from arrival

Please note: That should you wish to visit the UAE more often and over multiple occasions, there are multiple-entry UAE visas valid for 3 months.

How to Apply

The earliest you can apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is 3 months before you travel. In the case of the 96-hour visa, we suggest applying about 2 weeks before travelling.

With Emirates/Etihad:

  1. Apply on the airline’s website
  2. For Emirates, use the “Manage your booking” tool (you will need your flight ticket and booking reference for this)
  3. Complete the online form
  4. Scan and upload all your required documents
  5. Pay the visa fee
  6. Receive your visa entirely online via email (no passport courier needed)

At the Dubai Visa Processing Centre:

  1. Make an appointment with your nearest DVPC
  2. Pay the application fee (via EFT or with a cash deposit at a branch)
  3. Take your required documents to be submitted (along with proof of payment)
  4. Complete the application form
  5. Track the status of your application
  6. If your application is successful, you will receive an SMS and email notifying you when your visa and passport are ready for collection

UAE Visa Costs

With Etihad/Emirates:

96-hour Visa : R202 to R445
30-day Short-Term Visa : R1,333 to R1,412

With VFS Global:

96-hour Visa : R610
30-day Short-Term Visa : R1475

Important notice: Please note that the DVPCs do offer express services, with the 96-hour Visa express fee at R950 and the 30-day Short-Term Visa fee at R1,815. If you need to cancel your application at the DVPCs, it will cost you R480. Payments must be made to NEDBANK Ltd – A/c NO 1030242380, Branch code: 14690591

Competition duration
Please note that prices are subject to exchange rates and may change without notice

UAE Visa Requirements

• Completed Application Form

• A copy of your return flight ticket

• Two colour photographs with white backgrounds (4.3 x 5.5 cm)

• A colour copy of the first 2 pages of your passport (must be valid for 6 months after you leave the UAE)

• A letter from your bank stating that you will have enough funds available while in the UAE

• A letter from your employer proving your employment and the position you hold

• Hotel booking confirmation

• Travel itinerary

Application Centres

Address: 5th Floor, Strand Building, 47 Strand Street, Cape Town

Telephone: 021 423 6573


Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00

Address: Sandton City, Office Tower, 2nd floor, Sandton

Telephone: 011 783 0410 / 011 783 1941


Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00

Address: Unit 6, Crystal Rock, 16 Solstice Road, Umhlanga Ridge New Town, Umhlanga Ridge

Telephone: 031 584 7153


Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00

Please note that the Dubai Visa Processing Centres are closed on weekends and South African public holidays.

Whether you’re planning to take iconic picture of the Burj Khalifa, go shopping at Dubai Mall, or explore the Bastakia Quarter, you’ll be sure to discover even more treasures in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi! With this guide on the UAE (Dubai) visa application process, it won’t be long till you’re on your way.

Need assistance with your visa? Get a free assessment and quote from our expert partners at Visa Box!

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