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UAE Free Transit Visa

How to Get Free UAE Transit Visa

Sometimes, transit flights with different airlines are much cheaper than direct flights or layover flights with the same airline. However, in most cases, you will need to do immigration at the transit airport in another country and for that, you will need a visa. Recently, for my trip to Azerbaijan, I found very affordable flights with Wizz Air from Abu Dhabi. But to take that flight, I would need to do immigration in UAE with a regular tourist visa and that would cost over $50 and more documentation. Fortunately, UAE provides free 48-hour transit visas for everyone. In this article, I will guide you on how to apply for free UAE transit visa and get the visa in less than 24 hours. Read on to learn more.

Why transit through Abu Dhabi Airport?

UAE is a country with two major airports – Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport. There are lots of flights from these airports connecting South Asian countries with cities around the globe. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is also a hub for the budget international airline Wizz Air.

Wizz Air is running pretty cheap flights between Abu Dhabi and Baku, and many other destinations in Europe. If you book months in advance, you can find flights for as low as INR 3000! That is pretty cheap for a 4-hour international flight.

For me, to fly from my home airport in Kochi to Baku at an affordable price, Wizz Air was ideal. However, to take this flight, I would need to do immigration in Abu Dhabi, exit the airport and then enter the airport to do the check-in for the Wizz Air flight. Thankfully, UAE is providing free 48-hour transit visas to enable this at no extra cost. Moreover, I had a gap of over 30hrs between my arrival flight from Kochi – Abu Dhabi and my departure flight from Abu Dhabi to Baku. The transit visa allowed me to explore Abu Dhabi for one day instead of waiting forever in the airport terminal.

As far as I know, Dubai International Airport does not provide free transit visa. Hence, it is ideal to use Abu Dhabi International Airport for your transit journey through UAE.

Do You Need A Visa?

In your case, it is important to first check if you need a visa or if you are eligible to get visa on arrival. If you are from any of the countries or regions listed below, you do not need to apply for a visa before you travel to the UAE. When you land in Abu Dhabi, simply make your way to immigration to receive a visa when you arrive.

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon 
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Vatican
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay

Conditions for free 48 hours transit visa

If you are not from one of the countries listed above, you will need a visa prior to boarding of your first leg of the journey. The conditions for free 48 hour transit visa through Abu Dhabi are pretty easy:

  1. The flight should be within 14 days of visa application.
  2. Confirmed ticket traveling into Abu Dhabi Airport and onwards from Abu Dhabi to a third destination.
  3. The arrival flight and departure flight in Abu Dhabi should have a gap between 8 hours and 48 hours.

Steps to apply for free transit visa

The application process for a free transit visa through Abu Dhabi is entirely online and should take no more than 10 minutes. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the UAE Visa Application website.
  2. Select Transit Visa for 48 hours.
  3. Fill in the application fields. You can find a detailed walkthrough of the application form in the Free UAE Transit Visa video guide below.
  4. Once you successfully submit the application, you should get a decision within 24 hours via email.

UAE Free Transit Visa Video Guide

Final Thoughts

I found the application process very easy. My first submission was reverted to modify the Full Name field. They want you to also enter your father’s full name along with your own full name. After making the correction, I got the visa within 2 hours.

I used this 48-hour transit visa to explore Abu Dhabi for a day. If you are booking a flight combination with a long layover, I highly recommend applying for this transit visa to take advantage of the opportunity to explore Abu Dhabi instead of wasting away your time in the airport terminal.

If you have any questions or run into any trouble, feel free free to ask me. I will be happy to answer you. 🙂

19 responses to “How to Get Free UAE Transit Visa”

  1. Thanks for the info, exactly what I was looking for! Can you confirm, what goes in your passport when you get the transit visa?
    I only have a few empty pages left so I’m hoping it’s just a stamp rather than a full page visa.

    • I was able to go through e-gates. So, my passport was not stamped on entry or exit. I think you will be fine.

  2. I have two questions:
    1)can i get 48 hours transit visa if i travel with 2 different airlines with different PNR(for example i want to book a ticket from istanbul to abu dhabi with turkish airlines and another one from abu dhabi to maldives with wizz air)
    2)even if i book a connected flight, do i still need to collect my luggages at the abu dhabi airport?(for example i will book a ticket from ankara to abu dhabi with wizz air then 10hours later i have a connected flight(same PNR) from abu dhabi to maldives with wizz air again)

    • 1) Yes.

      Conditions: Atleast 8hr difference between arrival and departure in Abu Dhabi.

      2) If it is same PNR, airlines should be transferring luggage for you. You also won’t need transit visa. Please confirm with Wizz air.

  3. it was very supportive information, my question is that I have two different flights, Wizz air from Bari to Abu Dhabi, and Air araba from Abu Dhabi to onwards, but my stay at Abu Dhabi is about 7:50 hours, can I get a transit Visa ? as it has been mentioned that minimum 8 hours stay. please thanks

  4. Hey! Thanks for the post!

    Do you have thoughts on when the no. of hours in Abu Dhabi is only 3.5 hours?
    Wizz air and connection flight is Air India.
    And how long did it take for the application to process? I applied today and my flight is this saturday.

  5. Thank you for this great information. I have a question, I appreciate if you could help.

    I will be transferring in Abu Dhabi from one Wizz air flight to another Wizz air. Time between the flights is 4 hours. Do I need to go thru the border check, or I can transfer without border check. My passport does not allow me visa free entry into UAE, and I would have my luggage with me, so I do not need to go out to pick it up.

    Thank you

    • If both Wizz air flights are on the same PNR, you won’t need visa. Check with Wizz Air for confirmation.

  6. Hi, your post is very helpful and informative, but I have a problem, I am Indian and coming to Dubai for 14 days, I will get visa on arrival which is single entry for 120 AED or something as I have US Visa, I am planning to take Wizzair and go somewhere for a few days, now Wizzair goes and comes to/from Abu Dhabi, my return flight to my home country is from Dubai Airport, so what can be done?

    I will have to return to Abu Dhabi and then go to Dubai Airport, but without transit visa I won’t be able to enter UAE in order to go to Dubai, the site which you mentioned it says the flight inward and outward to a 3rd country should be from Abu Dhabi but my outward flight is from Dubai.

    Please any suggestions would be helpful.

    Thank You.

    • This guide and free transit visa is only for transit from Abu Dhabi airport. So you can’t use the 48 hr free transit visa option. Since you are eligible for visa on arrival, the easiest option for you would to be use that on return to Abu Dhabi to go to Dubai.

  7. Good evening, Dear Duden, Excuse me for bothering, but I found you via the post about transit visa for Abu Dhabi, I have a couple question to ask, if you could help, i would appreciate it. So questions:
    1. I am from Uzbekistan and found that on passportindex.com that i am eligible for evisa, if i buy a flight with the difference 9:30 hours am i eligible to get transit evisa 100%?
    2. Can I get two such kind of visa when i will go here from Cracow-Abu Dhabi-Tashkent and when i will return Tashkent-Abu Dhabi-Cracow. I mean 2 transit visa in one month.
    Thanks in advance and kind regards!

    • Hi there, sorry about the late reply.

      > 1. I am from Uzbekistan and found that on passportindex.com that i am eligible for evisa, if i buy a flight with the difference 9:30 hours am i eligible to get transit evisa 100%?

      It sounds like you are eligible to apply for transit visa online.

      > 2. Can I get two such kind of visa when i will go here from Cracow-Abu Dhabi-Tashkent and when i will return Tashkent-Abu Dhabi-Cracow. I mean 2 transit visa in one month.

      This is a complicated question and I cannot confirm this. Theoretically, it should be possible.

      If you have tried this out, feel free to share how it went for you.

      • Good morning, Mr. Duden.

        Just a small query. Was your ticket in the same pnr or separate one?

        If separate one, did you submit a single pdf file in the attachment section which included two separate tickets?

  8. Hi duden

    What possible solution is ther if the time between flight at abu dhabi is less than 8 hours?

  9. Hi! Thank you for this. I referred to your guide during my application for Visa.

    Anyway, I am writing a Medium article of my adventure in UAE and I shall direct my readers here. Thanks for your contribution in the world of travel. God bless wherever you are!

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