The metropolis Abu Dhabi is considered a dream destination in the United Arab Emirates and can be reached without problems for German citizens. Abu Dhabi is the second largest metropolis in the United Arab Emirates with 1.2 million inhabitants. The city is located directly on the Persian Gulf and offers its visitors picturesque sandy beaches that invite you to swim all year round.

With the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Ferrari World, holidaymakers will also find other spectacular sights here to experience an unforgettable holiday. You can find the most important information on entry here.

What needs to be considered when entering Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi belongs to the United Arab Emirates, so entry for German citizens is subject to a visa. However, you do not need to apply for the visa in advance, because you can obtain it conveniently on arrival at the airport or at the city port. It is valid for a total of 30 days and is completely free of charge, so you do not have to worry about anything else.

All you need is a passport that is valid for at least six months on the day of departure. Children’s passports are also recognized if they contain a photo. If you want to stay longer in the Abu Dhabi or the United Arab Emirates, you can extend the 30-day visa for another month.

You have to go to the Immigration Office in English and AED 650.00, converted a little more than 150 €, pay. Generally, you need a valid passport and tickets for the return or onward journey when entering Abu Dhabi. You should also have sufficient financial means to stay, although this is less important for vacationers who have booked a hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

With the Visa on Arrival, as the automatically issued visa is called on-site, you are allowed to stay in the country for tourism and business, but you cannot take up work or do other jobs in Abu Dhabi.

Entry requirements to Abu Dhabi for non-German citizens

In general, the entry requirements according to Abi Dhabi do not differentiate between German citizens and people from other countries within the EU. Outside of Europe, many other countries enjoy the same right to a visa on arrival.

These include Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, the same entry requirements for Abu Dhabi apply to you as described in the previous section for Germans.

The situation is different for travellers with a Turkish passport, for example. They have to apply for a tourist visa in advance of the trip, which usually takes a week and can be done conveniently from home and completely electronically. You can choose between the cheapest option, single entry for 30 days, single entry for 90 days, multiple entries for 30 days and multiple entries for 90 days. The total costs for this are between € 173.10 and € 505.10.

Also, keep in mind that Israeli citizens have an absolute entry and transit ban on the United Arab Emirates. Completely visa-free entry into the country is possible for citizens from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Citizens of these countries can also cross the border several times a year and have no restrictions – one multiple entry for 30 days and one multiple entry for 90 days.

What are the important customs regulations for entry?

Upon entry, you are allowed to carry local and foreign currency with a maximum equivalent value of AED 100,000, which corresponds to approximately € 24,000. Incidentally, there is no maximum financial limit for departure. In general, the import of drugs, counterfeit money and weapons is completely prohibited, which also applies to pornographic articles.

It should be noted here that particularly revealing title pages, such as those found in Germany for non-pornographic books and magazines, can already be interpreted as pornography so that you do not take any risks here and should therefore not carry magazines with you. If you have medication with you, you must always be able to provide a medical description that allows you to own and use it, as there are always checks at the airport.

For medication, the Ministry of Health website of the United Arab Emirates has an import permit approved. If you have any questions about the import of your medication, it is advisable to contact the state embassy in Berlin in advance to inquire what is easily possible by phone. Alcohol consumption is a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates.

Some hotels and restaurants are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages to tourists, but there is an urgent need to refrain from importing alcohol when entering Abu Dhabi. For tobacco products, you may take 500g smoking tobacco or 400 cigarettes with you per adult. A combination of the two options is also allowed here so that you can import around 250 grams of smoking tobacco and 200 cigarettes into the United Arab Emirates.

Incidentally, e-cigarettes are strictly forbidden in Abu Dhabi and throughout the country and should, therefore, be left at home. If you would like to take your pet with you on your vacation in Abu Dhabi, you must show approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and a veterinary certificate. Your pet must be at least 16 weeks old and vaccinated against rabies.

By the way, the darlings, regardless of their size, do not fly with you in the cabin, but in an air-conditioned room between the cargo area and the passenger cabin if you are travelling with the airlines Emirates or Etihad.

What are the reasons for refusing entry?

The above-mentioned regulations are in any case a reason for refusing entry if they are exceeded, broken or disregarded. Also, make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months when entering and leaving the country. If this is not the case, you will not be allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates.

The border officials can also deny you entry for other reasons, which is extremely rare for German citizens. Possible reasons for this include a criminal past, cooperation with the State of Israel, Israeli citizenship or other abnormalities in the official’s eyes. If you are searched internationally by the police, you may also be refused entry.

Due to the country’s rigorous attitude towards alcohol, you should not appear in a drunken state for border control, as otherwise you are usually not allowed to enter the country. If you have a stamp in your passport that testifies to a stay in Israel, you can also be refused entry. If this is already the case for you, it is advisable to create a second passport.

If, on the other hand, you have only planned a vacation in Israel, you can do without the stamp in your passport to avoid this situation. Who testifies to a stay in Israel, you can also be refused entry. 

Everything else about entering Abu Dhabi and the exact procedure

Most holidaymakers travel to Abu Dhabi by plane, as the metropolis is served all year round with a direct flight from major German cities such as Frankfurt am Main and Munich. You will be around 7 hours a day if you do not have a stopover on the way to the United Arab Emirates. The flight to Dubai takes just as long, from where you can quickly reach your accommodation in Abu Dhabi by car or shuttle bus.

An alternative form of arrival is the ship. These include cruises across the Persian Gulf where you drive along the coasts of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. If you have planned a round trip with the rental car, you can of course also travel by car if you are from Oman or Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates and then on to Abu Dhabi.

No matter which way you come to the country, the procedure at the border control is always the same: you give the border official your passport and then follow their instructions. The fingerprints on the thumbs and forefingers are removed and a photo of your face is taken.

At the same time, he will ask border guards about the length and reason for your stay, which will generally not take longer than a few minutes. If you are not fluent in English, so that communication difficulties arise, you can often enter the country without questioning. In some cases, a translator will be brought in to help you answer the questions.

Certain challenges before, after and during entry

There are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into the United Arab Emirates, although travel vaccinations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease and rabies are recommended. The vaccinations are not checked when entering Abu Dhabi.

Should you lose your passport during your stay in Abu Dhabi, this will not prevent you from leaving the country. Report the loss or theft to the nearest police station as soon as possible and also make the booking confirmation with you on the outward and return flight.

It is also recommended to have a copy of the birth certificate and passport with you. Ideally, you should prepare these documents in advance of your trip so that you always have them ready in situations like this.

With the loss log, that the police in Abu Dhabi issues to you then drive to the German Consulate General in Dubai, which will issue you a passport replacement. With this, you can travel back to Germany, where you have to apply for a new passport.

The entry requirements for Abu Dhabi allow most German citizens to travel to the United Arab Emirates in a completely uncomplicated manner. Since the visa is issued on arrival, you do not have to worry about anything in advance and only have to follow the current regulations.

As a citizen of Israel, entry is not possible under any circumstances, while passport holders outside the aforementioned countries often have to apply for a visa.