Why was my UAE visa refused

Entry requirements for Abu Dhabi

Coronavirus / Covid-19: Current information for travelers

The worldwide travel warning was lifted on October 1, 2020. Instead, the Federal Foreign Office issues differentiated travel and safety information for each individual country. We are currently warned or discouraged against unnecessary tourist trips to a large number of countries.

Before you travel to Abu Dhabi, please check the entry regulations as well as the travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office as well as the current quarantine regulations and test regulations of the federal states for return travelers. Please note that the situation is developing dynamically and can change at any time.

The following official websites are available for this purpose:

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Entry to Abu Dhabi at a glance

The metropolis of Abu Dhabi is a dream destination in the United Arab Emirates and can be reached without any problems for German citizens. With 1.2 million inhabitants, Abu Dhabi is the second largest metropolis in the United Arab Emirates. The city is located directly on the Persian Gulf and offers its visitors picturesque sandy beaches that invite you to swim all year round. With the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Ferrari World, vacationers will also find other spectacular sights to experience an unforgettable vacation. You can find the most important information about immigration here.

What should be considered when entering Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is part of the United Arab Emirates, so entry for German citizens is subject to a visa. However, you do not need to apply for the visa in advance, as you will receive it conveniently on arrival at the airport or the city's port. It is valid for a total of 30 days and is completely free of charge, so you don't have to worry about anything. All you need is a passport that is valid for at least six months on the day of departure. Children's passports are also recognized, provided they contain a photo. If you want to stay longer in Abu Dhabi or the United Arab Emirates, you can extend the 30-day visa for a further month. To do this, you have to go to the Immigration Office, in English, and pay AED 650.00, the equivalent of a little more than € 150. In general, when entering Abu Dhabi, you need a valid passport and tickets for the return or onward journey. You should also be able to show sufficient financial means for the stay, although this is less important for holidaymakers who have booked a hotel for the time in the United Arab Emirates. With the Visa on Arrival, as the automatically issued local visa is called, you are allowed to stay in the country for tourism and business purposes, but you are not allowed to take up work or pursue other gainful activities in Abu Dhabi.

Entry requirements to Abu Dhabi for non-German citizens

In general, the entry regulations according to Abi Dhabi do not differentiate between German citizens and people from other countries within the EU. Outside Europe, many other countries enjoy the same right to a visa on arrival. These include Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, the same entry requirements to Abu Dhabi apply to you as described in the previous section for Germans. The situation is different for travelers with a Turkish passport, for example. They have to apply for a tourist visa in advance of the trip, which usually takes a week and can be done conveniently from home and completely electronically. You can choose between the cheapest option, single entry for 30 days, single entry for 90 days, multiple entry for 30 days and multiple entry for 90 days. The total costs for this are between € 173.10 and € 505.10. Also keep in mind that citizens of Israel are absolutely banned from entering and passing through the United Arab Emirates. A completely visa-free entry into the country is possible for citizens from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Citizens of these countries can cross the borders several times a year and have no restrictions whatsoever.

What are important customs regulations for entry?

When entering the country, you are allowed to carry national and foreign currency with a maximum equivalent of AED 100,000, which corresponds to around € 24,000. By the way, there is no financial limit for leaving the country. In general, the import of drugs, counterfeit money and weapons is completely prohibited, which also applies to pornographic articles. It should be noted here that particularly revealing title pages, such as those found in Germany in non-pornographic books and magazines, can already be interpreted as pornography, so that you do not take any risks and should not carry magazines with you. If you have medication with you, you must always be able to provide a doctor's description that allows you to possess it and use it, as there are frequent controls at the airport. For drugs that contain psychotropic agents or strong narcotics, travelers must obtain an import permit in advance on the website of the Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates. If you have any questions about the importation of your medication, it is advisable to inquire in advance at the state embassy in Berlin, which is easily possible over the phone. Alcohol consumption is a public criminal offense in the United Arab Emirates. Individual hotels and restaurants are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages to tourists, but importing alcohol upon entry into Abu Dhabi is urgently not recommended. You are allowed to bring 500g of tobacco or 400 cigarettes per adult person with you when entering tobacco products. A combination of the two options is also allowed here, so that you can import around 250 grams of smoking tobacco and 200 cigarettes into the United Arab Emirates. Incidentally, e-cigarettes are strictly prohibited in Abu Dhabi and throughout the country and should therefore be left at home. If you would like to bring your pet with you on your vacation in Abu Dhabi, you must show a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and a veterinary certificate. Your pet must be at least 16 weeks old and vaccinated against rabies. Incidentally, regardless of their size, the darlings do not fly with you in the cabin, but in an air-conditioned room between the cargo area and the passenger cabin if you are traveling with the Emirates or Etihad airlines.

What are the reasons for refusing entry?

The mentioned regulations are in any case a reason for the refusal of entry if they are exceeded, broken or disregarded. Also make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months upon entry and exit. If this is not the case, you will not be allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates. The border officials can, however, refuse entry for other reasons, which is extremely rare for German citizens. Possible reasons for this are a criminal past, a cooperation with the State of Israel, an Israeli citizenship or other abnormalities in the eyes of the officer. If you are wanted by the international police, you can also be refused entry. Due to the country’s rigorous attitude towards alcohol, you should not show up for border control in a drunk state, or you will generally not be allowed to enter the country. If you have a stamp in your passport that proves you have been in Israel, you can also be refused entry. If this is already the case with you, we recommend creating a second passport. If, on the other hand, you have only planned a vacation in Israel, you can do without the stamp in your passport when entering Israel in order to avoid this situation.

Everything else about entering Abu Dhabi and the exact procedure

Most holidaymakers travel to Abu Dhabi by plane, as the metropolis is served all year round with a direct flight from major German cities such as Frankfurt am Main and Munich. You will be there for almost 7 hours if you do not have a stopover on the way to the United Arab Emirates. The flight to Dubai takes just as long, from where you can quickly reach your accommodation in Abu Dhabi by car or shuttle bus. An alternative form of travel is by ship. These include the cruises over the Persian Gulf, where you sail along the coasts of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. If you have planned a round trip with the rental car, entry by car is of course also possible if you are driving from Oman or Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates and then on to Abu Dhabi. Regardless of which way you come to the country, the procedure at the border control is always the same: you give the border officer your passport and then follow his instructions. Here, the fingerprints of your thumb and forefinger are taken and a photo of your face is taken. At the same time, he asks border officials about the length and reason for your stay, which as a rule will not last longer than a few minutes. If you do not speak English, so that you have communication difficulties, you can often enter the country without questioning. In some cases a translator will be brought in for you to help answer the questions.

Certain challenges before, after and during immigration

There are no compulsory vaccinations for entry into the United Arab Emirates, although travel vaccinations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease and rabies are recommended. However, the vaccinations are not checked when entering Abu Dhabi. Should you lose your passport during your stay in Abu Dhabi, it will not prevent you from leaving the country. Report the loss or theft to the nearest police station as soon as possible and take the booking confirmation with you with the outward and return flight. It is also advisable to have a copy of your birth certificate and passport with you. Ideally, you should prepare these documents in advance of your trip so that you always have them to hand in situations like this. With the loss report issued by the police in Abu Dhabi, you then drive to the German Consulate General in Dubai, which will issue you with a passport replacement. With this you can travel back to Germany, where you have to apply for a new passport.

The entry regulations to Abu Dhabi allow most German citizens a completely uncomplicated journey to the United Arab Emirates. Since the visa is issued upon arrival, you do not have to worry about anything in advance and only need to observe the current regulations. As a citizen of Israel, entry is not possible under any circumstances, while passport holders outside the named countries often have to apply for a visa.

This article was last updated on October 19, 2020.

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