For most, traveling to Dubai by air is going to be the most obvious option. Dubai has two airports that host thousands of international flights each week. Dubai International Airport’s code is DXB.
Alternatively, if traveling from a neighboring country, you can access Dubai by road. The busiest borders include Hatta and Al Ain.
Finally, cruise tourism is also an option. Dubai has two luxury ports that have complimentary shuttle services to shopping destinations as well as paid shuttle services to Dubai International Airport and The Dubai Mall.
Understand The Travel Requirements
Every county on earth has travel requirements, but these requirements vary depending on the country, where you’re traveling from, and what your citizenship is. Foremost, you may be required to obtain a visa for entry.
If you’re a national of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain, you are allowed to enter Dubai with a National Identity Card. Many other travelers will need a visa.
Visas are granted upon arrival to some people. Citizens of America, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, among others, are granted upon arrival, provided you have a passport that will not expire within six months of arrival and you have tickets booked that can serve as evidence of your plan to leave Dubai within the one month limit.
For a longer than one month stay, you will need to apply for a visa ahead of time to work with an immigration officer. Common visas include a tourist visa which allows entry for 30 days, a service visa which allows entry for 14 days, or visit visas from hotels or travel companies if a reservation has been made.
Multiple-entry visas are available for those who are planning on entering and leaving Dubai multiple times (as part of a cruise ship tour or business meetings required for employees of multinational companies, for instance).
It can be obtained once you’ve entered the United Arab Emirates on a visit visa.
Be sure to research your particular country’s travel requirements. Diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates are a major factor in whether or not you’re able to simply get a visa upon arrival.
Understand Additional Entry Requirements
In response to the pandemic, most nations have COVID-related entry requirements as well as standard visa and passport requirements. As of Feb 26, 2022, to enter Dubai from any country (including GCC countries), you must meet one of the following three criteria:
- Provide a valid vaccination certificate indicating that you are fully vaccinated with a WHO or United Arab Emirates-approved vaccine. It must include a QR code.
- Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate which has been issued within 48 hours after the sample was collected. It must be provided by an approved health service provider and contain a QR code.
- Present a valid medical certificate from relevant authorities that you have recovered from COVID-19 within one month from the date of recovery to the arrival date.
It’s important to continually check back about these regulations as things have been changing rapidly across the globe. It’s also vital that you figure out if there are any restrictions you need to deal with upon reentry to your own country.
In some instances, people have had no difficulty traveling with their vaccination status but have faced struggles upon trying to return home.
Travel Within Dubai
Once you’ve gotten into Dubai, you’re still going to need a sense of how to get around. Private transportation options include taxis and Dubai car rentals. These allow you to have complete control over your travel while crossing larger distances.
Bicycles and scooters are also available for rent if you want to travel shorter distances. Many tourists enjoy seeing the sights from these self-directed vehicles (just be sure to review the laws of the road).
Dubai has two Metro lines (red and green) and then runs from Dubai International Airport through the city’s busiest points. Seats are comfortable, inexpensive, and fully air-conditioned.
You can purchase a Nol card and top it up regularly or purchase a single-use ticket. The city also has a bus system that is low-cost and operational 24-hours per day. It is worth noting that buses do not accept cash, so you’ll need to top up a Nol card in advance.
The above information should help you get into Dubai and move around while there. Dubai is an energetic city where old and new collide in the most spectacular of ways.