I am travelling from China to Afghanistan and there is a layover in Dubai for 12 hours. The UAE probably won't give me a transit visa because it has had a ban on Afghans.

How can I check in for the departure flight to Afghanistan? What would they do to me if I arrive in Dubai without a visa. Would I be returned to my country, Afghanistan, which is where I'm heading anyway?

  • 7
    If you need a visa for the transit but don't have it, it is likely that you will be rejected at check-in and not even be allowed onto the plane in China. Jul 10, 2017 at 21:32
  • What about the tickets i bought
    – Tariq
    Jul 10, 2017 at 21:41
  • 6
    However, who says that Afghan citizens would need visas for an airside transit in Dubai? There are plenty of places on the net where it says that Afghans are excluded from landside layovers-without-visa, but I can't find anywhere that says ordinary airside transit is restricted. Timatic says visa-free transit is allowed for layovers of less than 24 hours. Jul 10, 2017 at 21:41
  • @Tariq I have no idea with regards to weather or not you need a visa. Someone may be able to give a better answer but the only sure way would be to ask a consulate/embassy of the UAE. Regarding your tickets if you do need a visa and cannot get one, they will be invalidated. (unless you paid extra for refundable tickets) you will likely simply have lost the money you spent on them, in future, it would likely be better for you to check information like this before purchasing your tickets.
    – skifans
    Jul 10, 2017 at 22:28

2 Answers 2


According to a Timatic search using the United Airlines interface, you can transit without a visa.

Searching for a Afghan national transiting in the Emirates yields:

United Arab Emirates - Transit Visa

Visa required.

Transiting without a visa is possible for:

Holders of confirmed onward tickets for a max. transit time of 24 hours.

Visa is required for transit between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai Al Maktoum International (DWC).

So if you have an onward ticket for a transit under 24 hours, and you don't need to change airports, you're fine.

BTW, even Israelis, who certainly can't get a visa for Dubai (without very special circumstances), can transit there without a visa, and routinely do so.


You don't need a visa to transit, as long as your transit is less than 24 hours - yours is 12 hours so no issues there.

You can spend time airside in the large transit lounge. There is a hotel, plenty of shopping and places to relax, eat and even take a shower if you so please.

You won't be boarded if you are not eligible for transit, so there is no risk of being "stuck".

Relax, and enjoy your trip.

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