Apply Visa from South Africa to Dubai – Guide on How to Apply

Thousands of South African passport holders need to apply for a visa from South Africa to Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Luckily this step guide educates you on the entire visa process. The easiest way to apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is online via Emirates or Etihad. Alternatively, if you are flying with another airline, you must apply in person at the Dubai Visa Processing Centres (DVPC), also known as VFS Global, in South Africa. Processing time can take up to 7 working days.

You must know that this visa application process is applicable to South African passport holders.


Types of Visas

  • 96-hour Visa:
    If you are transiting through the UAE and your layover is at least 8 hours. It allows you to stay for up to 4 days in the UAE
    Validity: 4 days from arrival

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  • 30-day Short-Term Visa:
    For regular tourist purposes. It allows you to stay for up to 30 days in the UAE
    Validity: 30 days from arrival

Note: Visiting the UAE (Dubai) more often and over multiple occasions, you need to apply for the multiple-entry UAE visas valid for 3 months.

How to Apply

The earliest you can apply for a UAE (Dubai) visa is 3 months before you travel. In the case of the 96-hour visa, we suggest applying about 2 weeks before traveling.

With Emirates/Etihad:

  • Apply on the airline’s website
  • For Emirates, use the “Manage your booking” tool (you will need your flight ticket and booking reference for this)
  • Complete the online form
  • Scan and upload all your required documents
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Receive your visa entirely online via email (no passport courier needed)

At the Dubai Visa Processing Centre:

  • Make an appointment with your nearest DVPC
  • Pay the application fee (via EFT or with a cash deposit at a branch)
  • Take your required documents to be submitted (along with proof of payment)
  • Complete the application form
  • Track the status of your application
  • If your application is successful, you will receive an SMS and email notifying you when your visa and passport are ready for collection

UAE Visa Costs
With Etihad/Emirates:

96-hour Visa: R202 to R445
30-day Short-Term Visa: R1,333 to R1,412

With VFS Global:

96-hour Visa: R610
30-day Short-Term Visa: R1475

Important notice: Please note that the DVPCs do offer express services, with the 96-hour Visa express fee at R950 and the 30-day Short-Term Visa fee at R1,815. If you need to cancel your application at the DVPCs, it will cost you R480.


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UAE Visa Requirements

All Dubai visas have the following requirements:

  • Completed Application Form
  • A copy of your return flight ticket
  • Two color photographs with white backgrounds (4.3 x 5.5 cm)
  • A color copy of the first 2 pages of your passport (must be valid for 6 months after you leave the UAE)
  • A letter from your bank stating that you will have enough funds available while in the UAE
  • A letter from your employer proving your employment and the position you hold
  • Hotel booking confirmation
  • Travel itinerary

Application Centres

  • Cape Town
    Address: 5th Floor, Strand Building, 47 Strand Street, Cape Town
    Telephone: 021 423 6573
    Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00
  • Johannesburg
    Address: Sandton City, Office Tower, 2nd floor, Sandton
    Telephone: 011 783 0410 / 011 783 1941
    Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00
  • Durban
    Address: Unit 6, Crystal Rock, 16 Solstice Road, Umhlanga Ridge New Town, Umhlanga Ridge
    Telephone: 031 584 7153
    Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 12:30; 13:30 – 15:00

Please note that the Dubai Visa Processing Centres are closed on weekends and South African public holidays. Scholarships Global Perspectives For International Student


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