Dubai (UAE) visa requirements when staying in the airport for a French citizen?
I have read that, at the time of writing (2013), UAE visas are:
- 96-Hour : Valid for passengers in transit
- Tourist : Maximum 30 days
- Visit : Maximum 90 days
But I am only connecting flights, so I am staying in the airport. And can't find any information regarding that case.
I only could find in the FAQ something implicitly saying that you do not need a visa if staying in the airport:
Can I leave the airport when transiting through Dubai?
This depends on the nationality stated in your passport and on the length of your stop in Dubai. Travellers of most nationalities require visas to enter Dubai, and regulations frequently change, so if you wish to leave the airport while in transit through Dubai, please check your visa requirements with your local UAE embassy before you start your journey. Travellers of certain nationalities may obtain visas at the airport on arrival.
According to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Citizens of the following countries ( holders of Regular Passports ) are exempted from UAE visa:
[France is in this list]
It should be noted that this list may change vary slightly from time to time and it is therefore best to check with your local UAE embassy or the airline that you are using to fly to the UAE. If you do NOT fall into one of the above categories, you will require a visa and a sponsor for your visit. The sponsor normally applies for the visa on your behalf.
In short, you can leave the airport if you have sufficient time or you can stay at the airport. Either way, as a French citizen, you don't need to prepare any documentation before travelling.
I did see this but was looking for a more specific reference (link) or personnal experience. As in, if tomorrow France is removed from the list of exempted UAE visa, could I stay in the airport without a visa. Not sure why this point is left so vague. In contrast with UAE, for Schengen Countries it seems to be clear that some people need an "Airport Transit Visa" http://www.immihelp.com/visas/schengenvisa/airport-transit-visa.html
Well, if France is removed from the list of exempt countries, something must have happened to prompt it and at that point, how is anyone to predict what the new procedures for French citizens might be?
@AdrienBe To be fair, things have become much more transparent with Schengen. The EU made a big effort to standardize procedures, set reasonable delays and provide good information online. It would have been just as difficult to get authoritative information or a quick response from French authorities before that…
Even as a Pakistani national I don't need a visa to stay in airport for transit. I have stayed in airport for around 8 hours for a transit flight from UK to Pakistan and didn't need any visa.
Following up after my trip: as expected I was not required any visa when I stayed in Dubai airport. Everything was pretty quick & easy. Funky crowd in the airport btw: from the typical American family to the local super rich dude wearing a white dress through the group of expat pakistan workers completely lost, to the lone backpacker...
My wife's South African and it's really unclear as to whether she needs a 96 hour visa if she's staying airside.