The combination of ancient desert culture and modern soaring skyscrapers in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates make it an interesting tourist destination. It is also an easy hub for travel between destinations in the eastern and western hemispheres, or Europe and Africa. Those planning to visit need a visa for a trip of any duration.

Passing Through

Dubai is a convenient stopover destination for distance travelers who want to squeeze in some shopping, beach time or just stretch their legs on a trans-global flight. Travelers stopping over in Dubai while in transit from one country to another are eligible for a Transit Visa valid for up to 96 hours. US citizens must show a passport valid for six months and an ongoing ticket. There is no fee for this visa.

Quick Trips

All US citizens must have a round-trip ticket and a passport, valid for more than six months, to enter Dubai for any length of time. Tourists planning to stay in the United Arab Emirates for 30 days or less may obtain a visitor visa, available at no fee, at the point of entry.

A Month or More

Travelers staying in Dubai for a month or longer must obtain a visa before travel begins. The cost for this visa is $51, payable by money order only. Applicants for a visa can apply in person at the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C. and must present a passport, an invitation letter from a host or sponsor in Dubai, and a letter proving employment or financial stability in the US. The Embassy will take at least three days to process the application, and the length of the visa granted is at its discretion.

Diplomacy Rules

Travelers needing a diplomatic visa also need to apply in person at the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C. In addition to the documentation that citizens need to provide, applicants must provide an original letter from a US government agency or department, an Embassy or an organization affiliated with the United Nations.

No Exceptions

Some countries accept valid US military ID cards as travel documents in lieu of a passport, the UAE does not. Passports and visas are required of any military personnel passing through or entering Dubai.