Visiting Dubai on a Jamaican Passport


I figured I’d write this post since I’ve gotten quite a few questions on visiting Dubai. For many, the pull of the country is its opulence and grandeur. Dubai boasts the world’s tallest building and the biggest and grandest of everything measurable (ok, not everything, but you get my point).

It’s probably worth mentioning that Dubai is part of the UAE United Arab Emirates (of course you knew that. Just mentioning for the uninitiated). The capital is actually Abuh Dhabi and not Dubai, as many wrongly assume. Although, Dubai is what most people think of when they think of the Emirates.

Dubai Visa requirements for Jamaicans

Jamaican passport holders are required to have a visa in order to visit Dubai. This should be applied for before your trip as visas on arrival and visa-free entry are not granted to Jamaicans with regular passports (i.e. non-diplomatic).

visit dubai on jamaican passport

View from the pier – Old Dubai


Apply through your airline

It is generally easiest to obtain your visa through the airline you’re traveling on. This service is available from Emirates Airlines which flies direct from multiple locations to the Dubai International Airport. (I’m not sure about other airlines).

I’ve used it on Emirates twice and the process is pretty simple. Once you’ve booked your ticket you simply log into your booking on the website and select the option to apply for a visa. Applications are processed through by VFS Global.

The cost for a single entry tourist visa (valid 30 days) is US$96.59. Generally speaking, the processing time is pretty short. I received my visa within 2 business days by email. All you need to do is print it and take a copy with you when you fly.


Apply through your hotel or travel agency

It is also possible to apply for your visa through the hotel that you’re staying at. “Licensed travel agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you provided you purchase the ticket through them and maintain hotel reservation with the specific hotel.”


Apply through a friend living in Dubai

While this is generally the least preferred of the three options I am still mentioning in the event that you have a friend who is a resident or a UAE national willing to take on the responsibility. Based on my conversations with my friend who lives in Dubai and information found on the government’s website, the process can be tedious and a financial guarantee is actually required so you are better off just going through the airline or hotel you plan to stay at.


I must mention that although there is an option for transit visas that are valid for 14 days and allow you to stay within the country for 96 hours, if you are transiting through Dubai without exiting the airport no visa is required. (I have done this on multiple occasions). If however, you have a long layover and wish to leave the airport a transit visa will be required.  The application process is similar to that for the visitor’s visa, except transit visas MUST be applied for through your airline. Transit visas cost US$71.59.

You can find more information on visas and the application process on the UAE government’s website.

visiting dubai on jamaican passport

Dubai desert sunset

Ticket prices and flight time to Dubai

Of course, right now there are no direct flights from Jamaica to Dubai so your best bet is to fly from the US. New York and Fort Lauderdale will probably offer you the best options while being relatively cheap to fly to from Kingston (Depending on time of year, the flight from KGN to JFK will add another US$400 or US$500 to your overall ticket price, while the flight from KIN to FLL will cost an additional US$300 to US$350).


Flight time to Dubai

Emirates Airlines offers direct flights to Dubai from both FLL and JFK. The flight from JFK is 12.5 hours long while the FLL flight is 14.5 hours long. Don’t be deterred though. Emirates aircraft are super comfy. And with wifi (10MB free after which you can pay for more – pretty expensive though at US$15.99 for 500MB), legendary in-flight entertainment, power outlets and good aircraft food the time will go by quickly. Plus, there’s always sleep!

While there are cheaper alternatives to Emirates you may find it easier and more convenient to just fly with them, as most of the cheaper alternatives are connecting flights through countries that may require transit visas. In addition, I am not sure if you are able to apply through these other airlines for your visa.


Cost for a ticket to Dubai

I did some research for tickets during the month of October (a two-week trip) to give you an idea of the expected cost for airfare from Kingston to Dubai. All prices are based on the information from the Skyscanner website.

Using Emirates from JFK – US$1,409 Total
Using Turkish Airways from JFK – US$1,137 Total

Emirates as the only option from FLL – $1,404 Total

While it can be expensive to visit Dubai, with proper planning and some cost-saving measures it is possible to visit the UAE without going completely broke.

Do you have others questions related to traveling to Dubai? What else would you like me to cover on visiting the UAE? Let me know in the comments section.

Hi, I’m Anna

A girl who traded in her cushy 9 to 5 to pursue a life of travel and passion. Words are my superpower (and also how I pay the bills these days). I love pasta, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and anything that allows me to flex my creative muscles. I talk travel, dream chasing and living on purpose here on the blog.

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  1. Judy - Ann Nelson

    How do you move around these countries, you make it seem effortless. Do you have a friend as a tour guide?

    • Anna

      I actually travel solo. For most countries I just do a lot of research on where to go, what it costs, then I choose my activities based on time and budget (I generally try to do free activities to same money). I had friends in Japan and the Philippines. Everything else I did solo. I should mention that sometimes people I meet along the way who are locals also make suggestions.

  2. shelly g

    Hello dearest….we will have to fly through the uk as my spouse has been unsuccessful in getting an american visa. Do i go ahead and book the uk to dubai leg of the trip through emirates then use them to apply for the dubai visa?

    • Anna

      Hi Shelly,
      Do you both have UK visas? If yes, you can apply for the Dubai visa through the Emirates website. Hope that helps.

  3. Dannie

    Thank you very much for this info.

    • Anna

      You’re welcome Dannie. Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  4. Steven

    I want to ask is it true you have to prove that you have $8000 in your bank account as a part of the process. Also i heard that there is a deposit.

    • Anna

      Hi Steven,
      While they do ask for proof of funds (I can’t remember the exact amount but you can check the links in the blog post to confirm) I don’t recall US$8,000 being the amount. I provided proof of about US$1,500 at the time and that was sufficient for a solo traveller. Hope that helps.

    • Rashell Henry

      No. It’s an amazing place. Very cheap too. Esp food

      • Anna

        Thanks for sharing Annmarie! 🙂

  5. Charmaine

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Do they require travel insurance?


    • Anna

      You’re welcome Charmaine 🙂
      While it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance I was never asked to provide proof of it in my application and the site didn’t mention it as a requirement.

  6. Jermaine

    I’m in Jamaica and I dont have a us Visa..applying for the transit Visa..does the transit visa take you through the United states?

    • Anna

      Hi Jermaine,
      The UAE transit visa would not cover your passage through the US, just through UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi etc). I don’t know anything about US transit visas, however an alternate route that bypasses the US would be through Panama. The problem is it’s way more expensive and is a much longer flight time.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. GrafixKing

    Just gotta say a big thank you for this wealth of info u laid out for us. By chance do you know of any Jamaican group actually living & working in the UAE? I’m thinking about finding a possible job over there as I’ve recently learnt that my particular skill set is in high demand over there. I’d love some perspective on working over there. I don’t want to be fooled into thinking their grass is actually greener than my own in reality. Again, thank you for your invaluable insight & information.

    • Anna

      You’re welcome 🙂
      The only Jamaicans I know in UAE are in aviation (pilot, engineer). I personally don’t know about a formal group of Jamaican expats there but I’m sure if you research one probably exists (since we’re everywhere). Making that connection is probably your best bet for getting accurate and useful information.
      Good luck!

  8. Chav

    Hey, love your blog. Do you know how as a Jamaican passport holder one would go about applying for a Kuwait visa?

    • Anna

      Hi Chav,
      According to the State of Kuwait Ministry of Interior website, Jamaicans are not eligible for the electronic visa process. We must apply through the airline and meet all requirements. Depending on the purpose of travel (tourism, work etc) the process will vary. You can visit their website here —
      Hope that helps!

      • Annmarie

        Hi im considering going to The UAE for medical purpose I hold a Jamaica passport. How do I apply for their medical visa?

        • Anna

          Hi Annmarie,
          I’m not familiar with a medical visa process for Dubai so unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to provide any information.

          I would suggest checking with our ministry of foreign affairs if you can’t find anything online.

          Sorry I couldn’t be of more help and good luck.

          • Annmarie

            Thank you! I get some information yesterdsy from the hospital in Dubai they will file the health visa for me since they are the one who I need the invitation from.. so only I need to do is get it, plane ticket them go for a transit visa at the US embassy..

          • Annmarie

            Do you get positive feedback as a black woman in Dubai? And what style of clothing is best worn there? Do you use hotel or vacation housing?

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Find your way around

Hi, I’m Anna.

I traded in my cushy 9 to 5 to pursue a life of travel and passion. I talk travel, dream chasing and living on purpose here on the blog. Hope I can inspire you to chase a dream of your own!

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