My wife needs a short-term visa for Dubai, while in transit from Bangkok to the UK.

She arrives at 13:00 on August 31st and departs at 07:35 on September 4th. If you count each part of a day as a full day, then she is in Dubai for 5 days, ie more than 96 hours. However, if they work to the hour, then she is less than 96 hours. Looking at the VFS website seems to indicate that it is hours, but I have learned not to rely on information from VFS.

  • Is the next longer visa mute expensive or otherwise harder to get?
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 23:56
  • The next longer visa is for 30 days and therefore is more expensive. Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


Having now been through this I can give the following answer to my own question.

The visa is to the hour. Having booked through Emirates we used their service to apply for the visa (I think it is actually operated by VFS). They pull in the flight times from your booking so you don't have to provide proof of arrival and departure times. Based on these times, as I gave in the original question, they offered the 96 hour visa. The visa was duly issued and we had no trouble using it in Dubai.


Etihad says "Spend up to 96 hours exploring Abu Dhabi before resuming your journey on a Transit Visa." and "Duration: 4 Days".

I would read it as if a transit visa is not applicable for your plans.

Edit: Also, there is this information from emirates: "A 96-hour transit visa is for a four-day stay with the first day of arrival (until midnight) being considered as Day 1 with three more days left to stay. The exit has to be completed before midnight of the 4th day, the airline informs."

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