Contributed By Ahmed Warangali
Coming Eid we have enough time to travel across to other countries, and one would not miss the opportunity to visit UAE and especially Dubai. Travelling to Any city of UAE i.e. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah is not much of a hassle, but pure pleasure of being in few of the best places on the planet.
Eid Season in UAE is busy season for guests visiting UAE/Dubai, with tourist department arranging special program to make your visit memorable. Highlight of the season will be family event and equal care will be taken for individuals visiting UAE/Dubai. And of course I believe your friends residing in UAE/Dubai will be more than happy to host you.
Traveling to UAE/Dubai from KSA is sheer excitement; you can choose your preferred mode of transport either by Road or by Air. Travelling by Road has options of individual transport or using Public Transport. Individual transport can be possible by own car/SUV. But looking at the harsh climate of both KSA and UAE and a long journey to cover, it will lessen the excitement of being in UAE/Dubai, and I will not advise you to take this mode if you are accompanied by family. You will be facing harsh climate, long journey and rush are port of entry, which is point of concern.
If you plan to travel by own transport into UAE, make sure you own your Car/SUV, because vehicles bought on loans from Banks won’t be allowed out of KSA, and exception is to produce NOC from the Banks which is near to impossible.
I do not recommend own transport because usually EID seasons will be rush season and it will be hard to find parking in malls and even residential areas of Abu Dhabi. Once you are in UAE/Dubai you have very good taxi services to ply you to every corner of emirate at very affordable prices, and you can hop on public transport buses which charge 2 dirhams per ride. And you can experience Dubai Metro too which connect most of major malls in Dubai. You can even avail water taxi services, but need prior booking by calling Dubai RTA hot line 800 9090. If you plan to use Public transport in Dubai, I advise you to get an NOL card and top it up with credit at any metro station. Please visit www.rta.ae for further information.
One of the tried and test and most affordable mode of road travel into UAE/Dubai from KSA/Riyadh I have experienced is SAPTCO. It’s a comfortable ride even if you are travelling with family and kids. Only point to take care is it takes up to 10-12 Hours to reach Abu Dhabi, and another 2 hours to reach Dubai. Once you are at KSA immigration office on the Batha Border, kind SAPTCO driver / conductor will collect your passport and do the needful immigration check for you. But once you reach UAE immigration post you have to do it personally. I spent SAR 180.00 for one way ticket per head to Dubai, which is throw away price to travel into UAE/Dubai. SAPTCO buses are excellent in facility and drivers are very good at the wheels.
By Air is always brisk travel into UAE, you can take Ethids Air, Emirates Air, Air Arabia, Nas Air, Fly Dubai to name few. Its only 95 minute’s journey, from Riyadh to Dubai. Once out of Air ports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, you have either you’re dear friends waiting for you or you can always hop in to Taxis and reach your accommodations/hotel.
Coming to the big question of how to get visa to travel into UAE – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. If you are an GCC Residents who are not GCC nationals but who have a high professional status such as company managers, business people, auditors, accountants, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, or employees working in the public sector, their families, drivers and personal staff sponsored by them, are eligible for a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival at the approved ports of entry.
Documents required include the original passport of the sponsored person, a valid residency visa and proof of employment i.e original Iqama. On Arrival Visa will be at AED 210.00 per head and you can collect the sticker by paying at bank counter at Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah Airport. You along with your dependent whom you have sponsored are eligible for On-Arrival Visa.
Or you can contact any travel agent in your country and arrange Tourist visit Visa which will be at 440.00 AED per head for 14 days VISA. I recommend you to go for this Tourist Visit Visa which will clear your any doubt if you will be allowed entry into UAE.
You can visit this link and plan your stay and visit to various places in Dubai http://www.dtcm-dubaimap.com/applet/map.html
Take care that you do not overstay your visa period, else you have to pay a penalty charge of Dhs. 25 (US$ 7) – Dhs. 100 (US$ 28) per day is imposed on visitors who overstay. If the overstay extends to a significant amount of time, then a court hearing is issued and the judge will decide what penalties will occur.