Do I need a transit visa in Dubai traveling from SA to New Zealand? The layover is 20 hours but will not be leaving the airport.

South African citizen, one ticket on Dubai from South Africa right through to New Zealand. On Emirates. And staying over at Dubai Connect. Do we need transit visa? Layover is 20 hours.

  • The title says "Dubai to Melbourne", but your question body says Dubai to NZ". Which one is it?
    – Peter M
    Sep 6, 2023 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


As a South African citizen, you will need a transit visa to use Dubai Connect, as you will be leaving the airport and entering the UAE. Emirates will help arrange a transit visa for you, as you have already booked Dubai Connect, but they take no responsibility if the visa get denied by the UAE authorities.

Also, Melbourne is in Australia, not New Zealand. If the flight is landing in Australia, you will need to have transit arrangements. You are eligible to transit without a visa if your connection in Australia is within 8 hours.


If your two flights are on the same ticket, the same airline, then you do not have to cross immigration and you will not need a transit visa.

However, if your ticket from SA to Dubai is on one ticket and Dubai to Melbourne is a different ticket with a different airline, you may need to cross immigration and re-enter in which case you may need a transit visa. It's possible that you can just walk to your next airline without crossing immigration, but there's no way to know until you're at the airport, it may not be worth risking it.

Many nationalities, however can get a visa on arrival. You can check your nationality requirements on this official website from the UAE: https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/visa-and-emirates-id/do-you-need-an-entry-permit-or-a-visa-to-enter-the-uae/visa-on-arrival

  • 2
    Did you check that transit without visa is available for all people? In quite a few countries there are restrictions for some nationalities and for those traveling on a passport replacing document.
    – Willeke
    Sep 5, 2023 at 8:08
  • 1
    Probably a good idea if the OP inputs their full itinerary and passenger details into IATA Travel Centre to check
    – Traveller
    Sep 5, 2023 at 10:13

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