Here are some of the tips my husband and I have picked up through our experiences and from others who have made the move from the UK already:
- Typically when a British Citizen enters the UAE you are automatically issued a 30 day visit visa. This is extendable by going to an immigration office and requesting an extension for a further 30 days (which has to be made at least 3 days before current visa expires) – this will cost roughly £125 (570 Dirhams).
- Just to note that there are other cheaper ways of getting a new 30 day visit visa, for example doing a ‘visa run’ to the Hatta border in Oman- spend a few hours in beautiful Oman and come back with a new stamp for another 30 days – this takes longer than any extension as driving takes up to 4ish hours return!
- There are Visa Run companies that arrange for a driver to pick you up from selected locations (generally in groups of around 5 people), drive you to the Hatta border, support you going through the border control and then re-entering back into Dubai with a 30 day visit visa. For recommendations and a breakdown of costs see below*.
- There is also the option of a Long Stay Visa – which will enable you to stay for 90 days but comes at a costly price of roughly £165 (750 dirhams).
- If you’re not planning to stay for long periods but plan to come back into the UAE on several occasions then you can apply for a Multiple Visit Visa which allows you multiple entries into the country for a period of six months, from the day your visa was issued, with a stay of no more than 14 days each time. This will set you back roughly £460 (2100 dirhams).
* I’ve broken down the cost of travelling to Oman via the Hatta border for another 30 day visa – 35 dirhams to be paid at the Hatta border,
50 dirhams 200 dirhams (Oman entry visa has increased which means the total cost is a lot more!) to be paid for the Oman visa and lastly any cost you need to pay for the company you take to do the visa run. Alternatively you can drive yourself to the Hatta border and get the visa done without paying someone to take you. I preferred having someone who knew the borders and how the visa system worked and paid him 125 dirhams 120 dirhams for the drive – so in total I paid 210 dirhams 355 dirhams which is roughly £40 £75! If it helps I used Best Visa Run and I’ve used them for the last 8 months – they have been so professional, supportive and send messages to remind you when your visa will be expiring! (Updated May 2017).
Just to note – As of May 2016 it is important that anyone on a visit visa exits the country within the ten day grace period – so if you entered Dubai on the 1st September you will not receive another full 3o day visa unless you leave the country and re-enter after 31 days (so any day after the 1st October). If you want to do a visa run please make sure you leave between 31-39 days from your last visa run.