After seeing the TV commercial about Dubai being dubbed as the “City of Now” in May 2012, I immediately added it to my bucket list. Setting foot on what both contemporary & futuristic city looks like and to stand face to face with the tallest skyscraper in the universe are intangible achievements especially for travel bloggers.
However, it was only this year, 2016, that the trip to the city got crossed off. Leisure travels for a white-collar worker slash parent slash breadwinner is a challenge I must say. Nevertheless, it was worth the wait. My gratitude to Leonel Mark Tusacano and Renante Crisostomo Jr. for facilitating the trip five months ago; it would have not been that easy for me.
Since the trip is my first ever, if you may, international travel, this post has to be shared particularly with first time travelers to Dubai. In this case, first time applicants for Dubai tourist visa.
I know a lot of people in our workplace who experienced difficulties applying for Dubai visa. In fact, majority of them resorted to having it processed by a third party via websites. The thing is, the very website being used by those who are engaged in this kind of activity use the same medium that applicants themselves should or could have directly used. The problem with Google and other search engines is they display too many websites (e.g., uaevisa-online.org, instadubaivisa.com, dubaivisa.net, dubaivisaservice.com, etc.) that lure first timers in this endeavor. In addition, those websites are the ones displayed as default for any Dubai visa related queries or searches. Though they are legitimate websites, they charge big time, of course, and that is where it becomes impractical. The same goes for travel agencies, airlines, and hotels in Dubai that also require huge sum of refundable security deposit as a prerequisite of this transaction. So I highly encouraged you to do it personally.
Had we let our host smooth the way for our visas, we should have been ripped off with AED 500 (comprising AED 263 for their processing fees and actual fees of AED 237 [in the event that the application is rejected]) plus the dreading albeit refundable security deposit of AED 5,000 — each. The application period is no consolation to this as well.
Thank God we came across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Interior website before accomplishing the application. An applicant for Dubai visa should go straight to gdrfa.ae to avoid those extra charges from travel agencies, airlines, and hotels; to avail of the guaranteed faster service (1-4 hour processing); and pay only the exact, appropriate charges (AED 237). In my case, as well as to my travel buddies’, I received the visa within an hour after submitting and paying for the application last 13 July 2016.
But before heading to the UAE Ministry of Interior website, please ensure you have with you the travel documents below.
1. A copy of confirmed round-trip ticket and hotel reservation.
2. Color scanned copies of ID picture preferably 4.3 * 5.5 cm in white background, passport’s first page (first-entry visa page‘s and iqama or equivalent if you are an expat) & last page, and another valid ID, respectively.
3. Credit Card.
Also, prior to initiating your visa application, make a note of or see to it that you do the following:
1. Create an account on the UAE Ministry of Interior website, gdrfa.ae.
2. Apply for a visa a week before arrival date.
3. Passport must be valid for a minimum of six months at the time of travel.
4. If you are to stay at your immediate family member or friend’s apartment, ensure to bring with you a copy of his/her invitation letter, passport, and valid residence ID. These may not be required for uploading but would be needed at the airport.
5. There is no guaranty that every application will be approved as each is still subject to UAE Immigration Rules and Regulations. An applicant could be denied on various grounds. One thing is for sure: Chances here are a lot higher than when applying for a US visa.
6. If you you want first-hand information about these concerns, telephone the UAE Embassy in your area. Here in Riyadh, the number to call is 00966-11-4881227.
7. For a step-by-step process on how to fill out the online application form, click here.
8. Arabic translation of an applicant’s complete name, mother’s, and birthplace’s are compulsory fields respectively. But worry not. There is an Arabic translation icon for each of them. You just have to click on it to reveal the accurate Arabic translation.
Last November 2016, one of my colleagues, who was not aware of this, had to use Google Translate for said fields. He came to me when he lost hope of getting each of those Arabic translations correctly done. Google Translate works only for transliteration, which means it is not accurate in cases like this because it only changes the letters from one alphabet or language into the corresponding, similar-sounding characters of another alphabet.
I never dreamt of traveling to another country nor getting to where I am currently based in because of work. All I know now is that when the travel bug bit me, the possibilities of where these wandering feet could take me became almost endless.
#DubaiVisaRequirement #DubaiVisaTips #HowtoApplyforDubaiVisa #WheretoApplyOnlineforDubaiVisa #HowtoApplyforUAEVisa
Dubai Visa Easy Tips To Get Your Visa (uaexp.com)
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