Welcome to UAE Visas
Welcome to the UAE Visas website! Here you can find relevant information pertaining to various UAE visa types, visa requirements, online visa application, other ways to apply for a UAE visa, and how to find expat jobs in the UAE. The objective of this website is to enlighten citizens and expatriates alike of the different types of visas in the UAE and processes for acquiring a UAE visa as well as giving them options on where to stay and travel while in the UAE.
Sources for the content came from several government sites such as the UAE Government Official Portal and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation. The UAE Government Official Portal was launched by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on May 2011. It aims to create a portal that will act as a single source in providing easy access to all government services. The portal includes a lot of information about federal and local government entities and their services for individuals, visitors, businesses, and government personnel.
The UAE Government Official Portal provides information and services that tackle different topics such as charity and humanitarian work, social affairs, infrastructure, public holidays and religious affairs, passports and traveling, visa and immigration, health and fitness, housing, environment and energy, finance and investment, transportation, visiting and exploring the UAE, business, and education. Apart from the above-cited services, the official government portal provides useful UAE Government Apps such as Khalifa University, UAQ Guide, Ras Al Khaimah Jobs, smartFUJAIRAH, Ajman Chamber, Sharjah Municipality, Dubai Courts, Abu Dhabi Pensions Fund, and Ministry of Health UAE.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation is vested with several responsibilities as mandated by the federal laws and constitution of the UAE in line with the country’s principles. It is mandated with several responsibilities and specializations such as setting the country’s foreign policy, supervising the execution thereof, and coordinating with other competent authorities in the country; supervision of all foreign relations including organizing the country’s participation in organizations, conferences, and exhibitions; and protecting the interests of the country and its citizens abroad.
The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation affords various services, electronic or non-electronic, such as how to report missing packages for citizens abroad, renew passports for citizens abroad, request an Emergency Passport due to loss of passport for UAE Citizens, and request a return document due to a damaged or expired passport.
About the UAE
Situated in the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of the widely known Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is politically organized as a Federal monarchy wherein every emirate is ruled by their own absolute monarch which, combined, form the Federal Supreme Council. UAE’s Federal Supreme Council chooses from among the monarchs to govern the member states and the chosen monarch then becomes president. Currently, the President of the United Arab Emirates is Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Free zones and increased foreign direct investment, progressive policy of economic diversification, consistent government spending, promising investor home economies, large sovereign wealth fund, strong financial reserves, and a strategic location contribute to the UAE’s robust economy. The economy has developed to advance telecommunication, information technology, renewable energy, re-export commerce, aviation, construction, real estate, and tourism.
Based on the annual report of MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index in 2015, Dubai is the 4th most visited city in the globe. The robust economy brings 14.26 million international visitors to the country. Since Dubai is considered as one of the top tourist destinations in the Middle East, it accounts for roughly 66% of the tourism economy for the entire UAE leaving Abu Dhabi with only 16% of the tourism share.
Due to the strategic location of the UAE, top class infrastructure and competitive labor costs of the country is incessantly gaining appeal for overseas investment. There are several positive efforts implemented to expand the growth of the economy which gave copious business opportunities. Thus, because of business opportunities, foreign companies have an edge in the UAE. Over 90% of the total population is composed of expatriates producing endless influx of large demand for international goods and new consumer groups.
Foreign workers in the country make up more than a majority of the total population of the country. Expatriates dominate both the public and private employment. A minimum wage is often established between the UAE and the government of the expatriates’ country of origin in order to assure that these workers are not exploited by their employers.
High unemployment and security issues in the region have forced the UAE government to identify solutions that employ a higher number of local nationals. Toward that end, the UAE government has published its Emiratisation campaign that attempts to increase the number of Emiratis employed in the workforce. Unfortunately, high turnover and high salary demands have been an obstacle in fulfilling this objective.
Emirati cuisine is influenced by Arab culture and highly respectful of the Muslim religion to the extent that pork dishes are excluded. Seafood has been part of the diet for centuries given the coastal geography of the country. Lamb, goat, and beef are preferred meats and often combined with rice and vegetables to form the popular kabsa dish. There are also well-known sides and dips such as hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh. Coffee and tea are immensely popular beverages and smoking shisha through a waterpipe is a favorite cultural vice in the UAE and throughout the region.
The traditional favorite of the UAE is the Al Machboos or Machbous. Aside from this, there are also other dishes that form part of the Emirati cuisine such as the Khamir Bread, Asida, Harees, Khabees, Shuwaa, Maqluba, Kabsa, Dates, Camel meat, and Al Jabab bread.
Government Office Hours
Working Hours during Ramadan (may vary every year) – 9 A.M. to 2 P.M.
Regular Working Hours – 7:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.
Regular Working Hours – Hours vary depending on the establishment
UAE Emergency Numbers
• Ambulance – 998
• Fire Department (Civil Defense) – 997
• Coastguard – 996
• Electricity Failure – 911
• Water Failure – 922
• Abu Dhabi Police (Aman service) – 8002626
• Dubai Police (Al Ameen service) – 8004888
• Sharjah Police (Najeed service) – 800151
• Ewaa Shelter – 800SAVE
• National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking – +9712-2222000
• RAK Police – 07-2356666
• Canadian Specialist Hospital – +971 4 707 2222
• Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – +971 800 82223
• Emirates Hospital – +971 800 444444
• Oasis Hospital – +971 3 713 1111
• NMC Specialty Hospital Al Ain – +971 800 7030
• Al Salama Hospital – +971 2 696 6777
• Seha Emirates Hospital – +971 2 443 8999
• Belhoul Speciality Hospital – +971 4 273 3333
• Tawam Hospital – +971 3 767 7444
• Zulekha Hospital Sharjah – +971 600 524442
• Medcare Hospital – +971 800 6332273
Emirates ID Card
The government agency vested with jurisdiction to issue an Emirates identity card is the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. The Emirates ID is a legal requirement for all UAE residents and citizens. It has several benefits & features and must be carried all the time. It can be used as a document to pass immigration through the smart gates and eGates at various airports in the UAE, a travel document for UAE citizens to travel within the GCC, and an identity proof to get government services.
According to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, it is against the law to seize the Emirates ID card of other people. Furthermore, companies are not allowed to withhold the Emirates ID cards of their employees or their customers and visitors. Only personal data on the ID cards are allowed to be taken by the employer.
You also need to go to any Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship preventive medical centers or service centers to provide your biometric details.
Getting an Emirates ID
To get your Emirates ID, the applicant has the option to fill the eForm at authorized typing centers or through the online form available on the website of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC). An SMS containing information about when and where to register will follow the application. The applicant will need to proceed to the registration center mentioned in the SMS to complete the procedures.
Below are the individuals allowed to apply for an Emirates ID as well as the processes in acquiring such identification card:
UAE National with social insurance
UAE National without social insurance
Emirates ID Renewal
After the Emirates ID expires, the ID holder must apply for its renewal. Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) will send you a notification via SMS requesting you to renew your ID card. You will need to submit your renewal application in person at an accredited typing center or online via the website of FAIC.
Late in the Submission of ID Card Applications – AED 20 per day (maximum fine of AED 1000)
Emirates ID Cancellation
Residents who intend to cancel their UAE residence visa for the purpose of leaving the country for good or for the purpose of changing jobs are required to hand over their ID cards to the respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs will hand over the returned ID card to the FAIC which had issued the card.
The rights, obligations, and duties of the workers in the private employment sectors are substantially different from that of one’s country of origin. Below are just few of the many guidelines and recommendations to assist you with your adjustment to a new culture and workplace environment.
Contracts of employment in the UAE are usually bilingual in format. If none of the forms you receive are in your native language then ensure that you have the forms translated. All contracts of employment must include the following details:
1. Employer name, place of work, and type of work
2. Nature of the contract (limited or unlimited)
3. Term start and end dates of contract (for fixed term or limited contracts)
4. Agreed salary rate and salary release schedule
Immigration and Visas
Any legitimate private sector employers that wish to employ an overseas or foreign worker must register with the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi (GDRFA) and the Ministry of Labor who is responsible for the issuance of the Immigration Establishment Card. The employer must apply for an Employment Visa or Permit for the expat employee who aspires to work for the company, permitting the expat to enter the UAE on an Entry Permit Visa for a maximum duration of two months. Once the employee enters UAE using an employment visa, a medical clearance report is required which is arranged and secured by the sponsoring company. Apart from this, any private sector employer employing a foreign national needs to complete the formalities of residence stamping for the employee.
Once a successful clearance has been obtained, the foreign worker will be issued a two-year visa. The employer can allow the employee to commence employment upon compliance of all requirements
Foreign workers are permitted by law to sponsor their family or relatives provided that the foreign worker earns a minimum of AED 3,000 per month.
The following benefits are mandated by the Labor Law to be provided to the employee by the employer:
1. Basic salary
2. Repatriation to the country of origin once your employment contract has been completed
3. End of Service Gratuity
Establishing any form of trade or labor union or trade union is not allowed in the UAE.
The recent laws of the Ministry of Labor are geared towards favoring the rights and privileges of the nationals. As expatriates, it is important to know that preference to job applications is always given to UAE nationals. Furthermore, the Ministry passed laws that impose quotas for nationals. This imposition of quotas is called “Emiratisation,” as mentioned above, wherein certain job sectors and companies provide employment quotas to enhance the country’s economy. Nonetheless, there are still numerous employment options when it comes to expatriate positions. There are several avenues for searching and discovering these options.
Below are agencies, organizations, and companies where expat jobs can be found:
• Government organizations and agencies that are in-charge of foreign or overseas workers of their respective countries
• Job search engines and online resources
• UAE-based companies which are hiring regularly
Click the link to search for jobs available.
Since every country gives preference to their own nationals and most UAE business encounters are based on personal relationships and trust, it is highly recommended that when you’re seeking for employment a referral from a friend or family member is acquired.
Agencies engaged in recruitment in the country are regulated by the federal government and can aid to alleviate the time, competition, and stress anyone will spend looking for employment.