United Arab Emirates

Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC do not require a visa.

Citizens of most industrialized countries will receive a 30-day visa on arrival in the United Arab Emirates free of charge. This can be extended for up to 90 days after arrival for a fee of Dhs 500. The countries are listed below:

Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom except BN(O passports), United States of America and the Vatican City.

Several other countries are eligible for free hotel/tour-sponsored tourism visas. See UAE Interact (http://www.uaeinteract.co...) for the latest details.

All other nationalities will be required to apply for a visa in advance, which will require a sponsor from inside the UAE. Your travel agent will usually be able or arrange this for you if you book your hotel through them.

Israeli citizens are banned by the UAE government from entering the country. However, despite much online misinformation to the contrary, an Israeli visa stamps are — by official policy (http://www.uaeembassyuk.n...) — quietly ignored.

If you are traveling from India not sure of procedure from other countries, please get a stamp of 'OK to Board'. Most of the times, it is arranged by your travel agent. In case he hasn't then as soon as you get your Visa; take your Visa, Passport and Ticket to your Airlines office and get the stamp of 'OK to board'. Without this you might not be allowed to travel to UAE.

By plane
By plane

The main hub for air transport in the United Arab Emirates is Dubai airport, which is served by several major airlines, most notably Dubai-based Emirates (http://www.emirates.com/). Direct flights connect Dubai to Durban, Johannesburg, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Karachi, Tehran, Riyadh, Mumbai,Kolkata, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, São Paulo and many other major cities in Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

After Dubai, the airport at Abu Dhabi has the next best international connections. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (http://www.etihadairways.com) now offers direct flights from New York, Toronto and many other airports in Europe and Asia. Other major airlines serving Abu Dhabi include British Airways (http://www.britishairways.com) from London-Heathrow, KLM (http://www.klm.com) from Amsterdam, Lufthansa (http://www.lufthansa.de) from Frankfurt and Singapore Airlines (http://www.singaporeair.com) from Singapore and Jeddah.

For low-cost flights, Air Arabia (http://www.airarabia.com) has set up a hub at Sharjah airport which is very close to Dubai, and flies there from many cities in the Middle East and India.

Customs Regulations

Each non-muslim adult can bring in four items of alcohol , eg four bottles of wine, or four bottles of spirits, or four cases of beer regardless of alcohol content.

The UAE takes an infamously strict line on medicines, with many common drugs, notably anything with containing codeine, diazepam Valium or dextromethorphan Robitussin being banned unless you have a notarized and authenticated doctor's prescription. Visitors breaking the rules, even inadvertently, have found themselves deported or jailed. The US Embassy to the UAE maintains an unofficial list (http://abudhabi.usembassy...) of what may not be imported.

Don't even think about bringing in narcotics: possession of even trace amounts leads to a minimum of four years in prison. Using Khat/qat a flowering plant that contains an alkaloid called cathinone which is popular in other nearby countries notably Yemen is also illegal, with life prison sentences possible.

By ship
By ship

There is a large network of dhows which transport goods throughout the Gulf and India. It may be possible to buy passage on one of these boats. They call at all coastal cities in the UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

By car
By car

There is road access to the United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia in the south and Oman in the east. All highways in the UAE are in excellent condition, but there is a huge amount of traffic between Sharjah and Dubai, as well as a 4 AED charge to cross the Salik toll gate. A prepaid Salik Tag is required for this.