If you want to visit the UAE on reconnaissance, you should apply for a tourist visa. These are single entry 30-day visas. 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.
If you are from one of these countries, you will be able to get a free 30-day entry visa from when you arrive at Dubai Airport. No deposit is required and proof of health insurance is not necessary.
If you do not come from one of the 34 privileged countries …
You must have a sponsor. This will usually be the hotel where you will be staying, 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. The sponsor will make all the arrangements. They must provide your date of arrival, date of departure, itineraries and the address where you will be staying. They will also be asked to produce proof that you have at least one month of health insurance to cover your stay in the country.
Expat friends can no longer sponsor you. Emirati friends may be allowed to sponsor you but this is dealt with on a case by case basis.
You will be issued with a non-renewable single entry 30-day visa. 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.