United Arab Emirates to offer

The UAE is no longer off limits to South Africans.
Image: Adobe Stock

United Arab Emirates to offer more attractive long-stay visas

Do you fancy spending some time in Dubai or working remotely from the United Arab Emirates? Here’s the news you have been waiting for.

United Arab Emirates to offer

The UAE is no longer off limits to South Africans.
Image: Adobe Stock

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be implementing more lenient tourist visas in an effort to revive the country’s flagging tourism sector and regenerate demand from visitors wishing to enjoy extended stays.

The Emirates city of Dubai was a busy hub for travellers who connected via the Middle East to other countries on the hugely successful Emirates Airlines. It was also a popular holiday destination known for its exciting adventures, excellent shopping and exuberant nightlife.


The UAE has seen a dramatic decline in visitors over the last year due to national lockdowns and border closures implemented all over the world in an effort to contain COVID-19. The slump in tourism has forced many governments to rethink their visa policies.

According to The Times of India, the UAE has approved proposals for more liberal tourist visas which can be issued to visitors who wish to spend a longer period of time in the country. This move comes in the hopes of reviving tourism to the Emirates.

The UAE’s Cabinet has reportedly also approved a virtual visa — a new visa category that will allow digital nomads to base themselves in Dubai while they conduct their businesses online.


Multiple-entry tourist visas will soon become available to visitors. This type of visa will be valid for stays of up to 90 days per visa. Multiple-entry visas will be available to all nationalities.

According to The Times of India, the visa will allow visitors to enter and exit the UAE multiple times during the stipulated 90 days. Entry after the 90 days will be prohibited as the visa will have expired.


The UAE Cabinet has approved a remote work visa scheme which will allow remote workers from all over the world to work remotely from the UAE. The visa will be valid for one year and will allow foreigners to enter the UAE under the conditions of self-sponsorship.

Visa holders will be expected to comply with other terms and conditions that are laid out for this type of visa.


This change in stance regarding visitors spending longer periods in the United Arab Emirates represents a departure from the previous position the country’s authorities held towards foreigners. The UAE was known to fine foreigners who overstayed their visas or who did not have the right type of visa for their stay.

The slump in tourism to the country has had significant impacts on the UAE. Its leadership wishes to reposition the country as a destination of choice for tourism and for those who want to live in the country while being self-employed.

The Times of India reported that the improved visa initiatives were recently signed off by the UAE Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. 

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