If you want to visit the UAE to look for a job, you must apply for a tourist visa. These are single entry 30-day visas. The law states that you cannot work while you have a tourist visa. If you find a job, you will have to apply for a residence visa before you can legally start work. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your intended date of entry.
If you come from one of the 34 privileged countries …
The privileged countries are:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and the Vatican.
Visitors from these countries can get a free 30-day entry visa from the immigration section at Dubai Airport. This may be renewed for a further 30 days for a fee of AED 500. There is no deposit required and proof of health insurance is not necessary.
If you wish to renew the visa again, you will have to leave the country and return. This is known as doing a visa run. You can do this twice, but the third time, you will have to stay outside the UAE for at least 30 days before you will be allowed to return.
If you do not come from one of the 34 privileged countries …
You will need to have a sponsor. These are usually the hotel you will be staying at, or a travel or tourism agency.
Expat friends can no longer sponsor you. Emiratis may be allowed to sponsor visitors but this is dealt with on a case by case basis.
You must have a sponsor. This will usually be the hotel that you will be staying at but Emirates Airline and Dnata Travel Agency can also help with obtaining visas. If you booked your flight through a travel company or tourism agency, they will also be able to help you arrange your visa. They will need your date of arrival, date of departure, itineraries and the address where you will be staying. They will also require proof that you have at least one month of health insurance to cover your stay in the country.
Your sponsor must submit the application at least a week before you travel. The visit visa costs AED 100. The hotel, travel or tourism agency will charge you a processing fee but this must not, by law, exceed AED 50. You can pick up your visit visa upon your arrival at the airport. The delivery charge for this service is AED 10. Any UAE embassy or consulate will be able to provide you with further information and help you with application procedures.
The tourist visa you receive will be a non-renewable single entry 30-day visa. You will not be able to renew this visa by doing a visa run – leaving the country and re-entering. Instead, you will have to go back to your home country and then reapply for a visit visa.