My husband and I are flying together from South Africa to the States, via Dubai. I hold a US passport, and my husband holds both a British and a South African passport. He will be departing from SA and arriving in the US using his SA passport. However, we want to tour Dubai during our 7 hr layover and it is easier for him to use his British passport in Dubai as he will not need a pre-arranged visa on his Brit passport.

Can he use this second passport on layovers? (I am concerned that the UAE officials will not allow him in since he will not have a stamp from leaving SA)

  • 3
    There often seems to be this concern about people not having exit stamps from the country they just left. I am perplexed by this. Did you notice that many countries, including the US and UK, never stamp passports on exit? Did you notice that EU and EEA countries never stamp EU/EEA passports (such as your husband's) on entry or exit? Do you remember ever having your exit stamps checked when entering any country?
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 15:51
  • @phoog - The exit stamp issue does occur in some countries in Africa, hence why someone from SA might be asking.
    – user13044
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 5:10
  • @Tom also apparently at some land crossings in South America and Asia, but I've never heard of it in an airport. Are you saying that some African countries check exit stamps of those arriving by air?
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 13:14
  • @phoog - I have only personally encountered it at land crossings. But in our case, had we not violated the rule, we would have never known about the rule. There were no signs or other indicators that it was necessary and nothing much posted on travel planning pages. So for inexperienced travelers, their experience with land crossing would naturally equate to what they might expect at an airport border control.
    – user13044
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Yes he can. Dubai does not care whether South African entry and exit stamps match up nor that there is no exit from South Africa shown in his British passport. The process is very quick and for me did not involve flicking through all the pages of my (British) passport - only far enough to find a space to stamp the (free) visa.

  • 4
    Indeed. If there is difficulty for some reason, which I would not expect, he can always show his South African passport to explain things. He doesn't have to hide his other passport (although to avoid confusion it is best only to present one at the beginning).
    – Calchas
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 11:02

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