UAE Visa Reviews
UAE Visa Dec 13, 2011
Figured I should update this... I went to Dubai in Dec 2011 and Canadians can now get their visa at the airport!!! :D
FYI... For Canadians and anyone else requiring a visa to visit the UAE!
CANADIANS - As of January 22nd, 2011, we REQUIRE a pre-approved visa to enter the UAE (we can't just get it at the airport like everyone else now)!!!
EVERYONE ELSE REQUIRING A VISA - This is likely informative for you too.
The first time I went to Dubai (January 22nd, 2011), I couldn't find out how to get a UAE visa from anyone! I called anyone and everyone - embassies (Canadian, UAE), hotels & airlines. I finally ended up getting a visa through my hotel (after a TON of headaches and WAY too much stress - I almost had a mental breakdown BECAUSE of my vacation)!
HOTEL: The second time I went to Dubai, I planned to book through my hotel. I found a few hotels online that I liked and then I had to call them! I made numerous phone calls and finally found a (expensive) hotel that would sponsor me. (COST ~500AED PLUS a 5000AED deposit from my credit card!)
AIRLINE: Another option is to book through a (more expensive) airline. Some airlines will sponsor you, but usually you have to package it with a hotel. (I didn't really look into this option)
To SAVE TIME & MONEY:
Then I found South Travels! They have a HUGE selection of hotels (pretty much any hotel you can think of in Dubai) at great prices. You just email them and they'll book it for you, send you the confirmation and you go and pay online.
VISA: All you have to do is pay the $150USD via credit card (which is the going rate... believe me, I checked)! Most hotels will want a copy of your credit card and a deposit of more than $1000USD (4500-5500AED), PLUS 450AED to process the visa!
You also have to fill out their application form and send them a passport copy and passport-sized photo.
The website says you're required to book your hotel with South Travels, HOWEVER, my visa was processed and emailed to me before I even inquired about a hotel. To be on the safe side, I'd book with them... I had a good experience and the hotel selection/prices were great!
AT THE AIRPORT:
-Name and copy of your hotel voucher (they will ask where you're staying)
-Return ticket booked home
-Print-out of your visa
-Go straight to the Passport Control line (unless you want to exchange your money first)
-(They say to dress modestly... MEH... I was in a cami and shorts)! :P But they CAN refuse to let you enter the country, so be nice! (Although all us Canadians are nice, eh?) ;)
IMPORTANT: DON'T FORGET!!! You can't buy ALCOHOL in Dubai! So, if you're planning some pre-drinking for the bars (as drinks can be expensive) or just want to sit and have a beer or glass of wine... get it at the airport! Duty-free is located just after Passport Control/Customs! :)
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