Visa requirements for expats interested in living and working in Abu Dhabi are considerably less intensive than in neighbouring Middle Eastern countries. The UAE attempts to make the process of getting a visa as straightforward as possible, and there are plenty of agencies that can facilitate the endeavour.
Most expats will be moving to Abu Dhabi under the auspices of an already established residency visa, either through employment sponsorship or family member sponsorship. Without this document, it's difficult to accomplish anything in the UAE.
Tourist visas for Abu Dhabi
Before making plans to travel to the UAE, visitors should ensure they don't need to arrange a visit visa beforehand. Citizens of countries included in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) or of countries included in a list put together by the UAE do not need to organise a visa before arriving in the country; the UK, the USA, and all Western European and Pacific Rim countries appear on this list, but India and Pakistan do not.
Those who do need a visit visa will need the sponsorship of a UAE national, resident or a UAE-based company such as a hotel or airline.
Formal sponsored visit visas for Abu Dhabi last 60 days, and in some cases, are renewable for a fee. If planning to stay longer than the allotted number of days, visitors should find out if they are eligible for a renewable visa.
Visit visas are granted to those who are coming on holiday, family visits or long-term business.
Multi-entry visa for Abu Dhabi
Those doing business in the UAE on a regular basis should arrange a multi-entry visit visa. Visitors must first obtain a standard, single-entry visit visa and then apply for the multi-entry visa once in the country. The multi-entry visit visa is valid for six months at a time, and each stay within that six-month period can last up to 30 days.
Some nationalities can apply for multi-entry visit visas that cover the course of a longer duration.