Dubai Visa-free For Ghana: Can Ghanaians Travel To Dubai Without A Visa?

Good news about visas is always received with joy. A typical Ghanaian doesn’t mind spending his life savings on a vacation due to the prestige attached to traveling abroad. However, the process of obtaining visas puts many off due to the uncertainties associated with the outcome of visa applications.

In 2019, it was all over that Ghana has signed a visa-free agreement with Malta to allow holders of ordinary Ghanaian passports to travel to Malta without a visa. It took me series of posts to explain to people why it can never be as Malta is a member of Schengen and as such the country cannot solely admit other nationals into the Schengen area. The agreement was only between holders of Diplomatic passports.

News on South Africa granting Ghanaians visa-free travel also made waves and it’s still on reputable websites, including that of Ghana’s Parliament, that holders of Ghanaian ordinary passport can travel to South Africa without a visa. South Africa visa-free travel for Ghana remains a promise, a promise that may never be fulfilled.

Skydive, Dubai
Skydive, Dubai

Now, there’s another news from Parliament, the same parliament that said Ghanaians can go to Dubai without a visa lol. Don’t celebrate yet as the reports on various news platforms are conflicting.

UAE will never grant holders of Ghanaian ordinary passports visa-free travel. The only countries that travel to the United Arab Emirates without a visa are member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC is made up of Arab countries; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. UAE suspended its diplomatic relations with Qatar which took away the visa-free access Qatar enjoyed.

Dubai visa is a great source of revenue for the UAE. The best they can offer us is visa-on-arrival. Even countries like the USA and UK whose passports are considered to be some of the strongest in the world do not enjoy visa-free travel to Dubai. The agreement signed between Ghana and the UAE probably allows only holders of diplomatic and service passports to travel between the two countries without a visa.

Top things to do in Dubai

Dubai has become the world’s favourite holiday destination and most tour operators successfully fly dozens of people weekly to see this city beautifully crafted with tourism in mind. The city has so much to offer that tourists may get confused as to what to see once they are there.

So it’s always good to have an idea of the interesting places to see or things to do while touring the city. These are a list of some recommendations.

Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area. It is the 21st largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area. The mall has an aquarium that showcases more than 300 species of marine animals, including sharks and rays.

Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, is the third tallest hotel in the world. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach. The 7 star hotel is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. No one visits Dubai and misses Burj Al Arab.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Soaring 828 metres above Dubai and currently the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa represents a union of art, engineering and heritage. The megatal skyscraper is home to thousands of metres of office space, 900 private residences, the 160-room Armani Hotel and At the Top, the outdoor observation deck on the 124th floor. The 163-storey was constructed in January 2004.

Desert Safari

Akesse Sanza in Dubai

Desert Safari Dubai an exhilarating escapade of a lifetime. It offers hours of untainted fun and heart-stopping activities in one of the biggest as well as magnificent deserts in the Arabian Peninsula. Desert Safari in Dubai is a mix of adventure, cultural entertainment, and sumptuous dinner under the stars.

Desert Safari/ Photo credit: dubaisafariworld.com
Desert Safari/ Photo credit: dubaisafariworld.com

Gold and Spice Souks

The Middle East is famous for its souks. In Dubai it is no different. The traditional markets spaces dedicated to the art of bargaining are the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk, the two are neighbors and are located on the edge of Dubai Creek in the Deira region.

Gold Souk is the largest gold market in the world and offers much more affordable prices than the major jewelers. It is a great opportunity for anyone who likes gold and other precious metals.

In the same complex of markets, there is also the Spice Souk. The place is ideal for those who love good cuisine and love to buy some seasoning. Arab markets always offer a huge variety of spices and will certainly help enrich the dinner table upon returning to Brazil. Stay tuned for price and always ask before you buy so you do not pay too much. The sellers love to trade values ​​and this is one of the best attractions of the souks.

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area. The park maintain the temperature of -1 degree Celsius to 2 degree Celsius through out the year. It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Source: Wikipedia)

Wild Wadi Waterpark

The Wild Wadi Water Park is an outdoor water park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Situated in the area of Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the water park is operated by Jumeirah International, a Dubai-based hotelier.

8 things you probably never heard about Dubai

Few quotes ring truer when it comes to an understanding and a true experience of Dubai, which is the favorite holiday destination for millions across the world. Yes, it is a very rich city in the United Arab Emirates and deeply rooted in tradition. Publicity notwithstanding, there are many things about the city you don’t get to see or hear till you visit. I discovered many hidden gems during my last visit. Here are eight of them….

1- Cheaper oil price

Water is cheap in Dubai and oil (fuel) is cheaper. I bet if our bodies could run on oil, then residents of UAE would prefer that to water. The fuel prices in the city didn’t surprise me since UAE alone holds nearly 10% of the world’s known oil supply. But I was in for a much bigger surprise to discover that a liter of water costs higher than the same liter of petrol (oil). What a lovely place that will be for automobile enthusiasts!

2- Everything is about money

The only language widely understood in this city is money. There, money outweighs a simple ‘thank you’. No service comes freely. You even have to pay for your luggage to be weighed at the airport. I recall I had to make another payment for my luggage to be reweighed. When the weight wasn’t ok, I had to pay again after taking off some items for the whole exercise to be carried again. This happens only in Dubai. So just when you are thinking of visiting, be sure to load your wallet.

A scale at the Dubai International Airport

3- Very hot temperature

The sun actually feels very bright in Dubai. If you feel your city is hot, then am here to tell you Dubai is hotter. Temperatures go as high as 39°C. It is actually a desert city and the glare of the sun is felt on the skin. The driest part of your body will be more pronounced here. So, they have air-condition installations almost everywhere, including bus stops to mitigate the hotness. And also it’s not like many people there want to be stars, unless you want to grow crow feet with all the squinting you will do. Throw some sunglasses on and you will be saving your eyes from the sun.

4- Chilled tap water

This is strange, isn’t it? Especially when the temperature can rise to nearly 40°C. Tap water can be likened to one right from a refrigerator. Sometimes it’s even difficult bathing with it simply because it’s too chilled. Don’t know how they do this but you know, everything is possible in Dubai. Even in my home country where temperatures can reach up 32°C, many are still unable to use warm water in their bathrooms.

5- There’s a Minister of Happiness

In the United Arab Emirates, happiness of the citizens is of paramount importance to the government and as such, has a Minister of Happiness; solely responsible for the wellbeing of citizens. That’s not all. There’s also a Minister of Tolerance, which kept me wondering whether everything is tolerated there. Guess what! Their Minister of Youth Affairs is only 23 years old. Yes, two-three! Where I come from, ministers of state average 50 years so imagine a 50-year old person handling the Youth Ministry. I hope someday we will do same here so we can have a Youth Minister who will be fully aware of the challenges confronting the youth since he’s not way older than them.

6- A safe Dubai

“Dubai is safe”, a famous assurance from all Tour Guides and Operators we encountered. In case you were in any doubt that Dubai’s residents are minted, take a look at its lost-and-found statistics. You lose your valuables there and they are easy to find, very much unlike some places we know. However, there are a few number of immigrants who on daily basis try to defraud people in business transactions. They are crooks and I remember one tried to sell an iPhone to me. After agreeing on the price, he brought out this fake phone. Had it not been my diligence, just imagine what would have happened.

7- No commercial billboards

Throughout my week-stay in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I did not see any commercial billboard. All billboards I saw had to do with the rulers of the city and country. It tells of the confidence they have in their leaders, and they are widely respected by expats and the national community.

8- Imported Sand built Dubai 

Despite its geographical position in the heart of the desert, Dubai imports sand for its numerous construction works. All the sand seen at their beaches are imported, some even from Nigeria. According to the UN, the UAE imported $456m worth of sand, stone and gravel in 2014 alone. 

It’s your turn to discover more about Dubai for yourself. Make that trip now!

Dubai Visa Application In Ghana

Ghanaians visiting Dubai, or the United Arab Emirates, need to obtain a visa before visiting.

Dubai Visa is valid for travel across all the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) including Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Dubai itself.

Travelers who want to visit nearby countries, or other countries while in Dubai are to obtain multiple entry visas if they intend to return to the UAE.

Jetsanza.com can assist you with your Dubai visas. Just browse through the packages below and select your desired Dubai Visa type.

Dubai Visa Types And Prices

If you intend to visit the UAE one-time, a 30-Day single entry visa is recommended. If you apply through Jetsanza.com, your visa would be processed immediately and delivered within 48 hours. Our Dubai Visa service comes with Travel Insurance. A scanned copy of your passport data page and passport photo are required to process the visa. Nothing else.

A 30-Day multiple entry visa is recommended for travelers who want to visit Dubai more than once within 30 days. It is the ideal visa for those intending to visit nearby countries. A multiple entry visa is needed if you want to visit other countries and still return to the UAE to catch your return flight or continue with your activities. If you apply through Jetsanza.com, your visa would be processed immediately and delivered within 48 hours.

Our Dubai Visa service comes with Travel Insurance. A scanned copy of your passport data page and passport photo are required to process the visa. Nothing else.

If you want to stay in Dubai of the UAE for a longer period on a single visit, then you need a 90-Day single entry visa. If you apply through Jetsanza.com, your visa would be processed immediately and delivered within 48 hours.

Our Dubai Visa service comes with Travel Insurance. A scanned copy of your passport data page and passport photo are required to process the visa. Nothing else.

A 90-Day multiple entry visa is recommended for travelers who want to visit Dubai more than once within 90 days. It is the ideal visa for those intending to visit nearby countries. A multiple entry visa is needed if you want to visit other countries and still return to the UAE to catch your return flight or continue with your activities. If you apply through Jetsanza.com, your visa would be processed immediately and delivered within 48 hours.

Our Dubai Visa service comes with Travel Insurance. A scanned copy of your passport data page and passport photo are required to process the visa. Nothing else.

COVID-19 Entry Requirements Dubai

Dubai arguably is currently the world’s leading tourist center, and this is so because of the extraordinary shopping centers, affordable sporting vehicles, exotic animals, beautiful skyscrapers, and their heaven-like man-made islands. However, access to Dubai had to come with restrictions and some extreme requirements due to fears of a spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Attention coronavirus covid 19. A robotic research computer doctor holds a test tube with drugs and pills. Black chalkboard with the handwritten words warning of an epidemiological virus threat

Is Dubai accepting tourists now?

Yes, currently Dubai is accepting tourists and visitors for all purposes, however, tourists and foreigners who may want to visit Dubai must abide and conform with all Covid-19 protocols and requirements stipulated by Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

Test on arrival?

Generally, it is a requirement that all travelers must have a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken not more than 72 hours before departure from the home country before they arrive in Dubai, however, visitors without a PCR test would be made to test upon arrival. This rule applies to transiting travelers as well. There are a few exemptions to the stated general requirements and the exemptions are listed below;

  • For passengers arriving from India, in addition to a negative PCR test, travelers must add a QR code linked to the original report for verification purposes. The QR code must be presented at check‑in and to representatives of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) upon arrival in Dubai airports. Other countries affected by this policy include; Bangladesh, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Sudan, Lebanon, and effective 9 May, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
  • Passengers from the countries stated below would be required to undergo another COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at Dubai International Airport: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

PCR Test Exemptions

According to the UAE, the following groups are exempted from presenting and taking a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival in Dubai

  • UAE nationals are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 PCR test before departing to Dubai. They will be tested on arrival in Dubai.
  • Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 PCR test.

Travellers Can No Longer Carry Home Gifts Exceeding AED3000 When Travelling From The UAE

The UAE’s Federal Customs Authority (FCA) has issued a strict awareness guide on the value, type of items and gifts that travellers travelling to or out of the UAE can carry.

The guide states that the value of gifts carried from the UAE to countries abroad should NOT exceed AED3,000 (approximately $800). Adding that baggage and gifts should be personalized and in non-commercial quantities.

Here is a list of items below that can be carried without any duty imposed:

  1. Radio and CD players along with CDs
  2. Movie projection devices and relevant accessories
  3. Portable music instruments
  4. Strollers
  5. Personal sports equipment
  6. Portable computers and printers
  7. Video and digital cameras and their tapes for personal use
  8. TV and receiver one each
  9. Portable computers and printers
  10. TV and receiver one each
  11. Cellular phones
  12. Medication for personal use provided complying with applicable regulations
  13. Personal clothes toilet tools and luggage of personal nature
  14. Cellular phones
  15. Medication for personal use provided complying with applicable regulations
  16. Personal clothes toilet tools and luggage of personal nature
  17. Telescopes

Although carrying the above items comes with certain conditions of exemption:

  1. You should not be frequently dealing with customs department or a trader of the substance in his possession
  2. Gifts brought in with traveller shall not exceed AED3,000
  3. Luggage and gifts should be of personal nature but in non-commercial quantities
  4. Tobacco quantity should not exceed the permissible limit of chopped tobacco for smoking pipe tobacco, regular tobacco or shisha exceeding
  5. Alcoholic drinks of a value of up to AED3,000
  6. Tobacco and alcohol can not be carried by a traveller below 18 years of age
  7. You should not be a member of the crew of the transport means

A list of PROHIBITED items that are illegal to carry into the UAE:

  1. Narcotics
  2. Paan substances (including betel leaves)
  3. Gambling tools and machines
  4. Live animals of pig species
  5. Raw ivory
  6. Laser pens with red light package
  7. Fake and counterfeited currency
  8. Publications, pictures, religiously offensive or immoral drawings and stone sculptures
  9. Nylon fishing nets

The below is a list of restricted commodities that may be allowed after permission:

  1. Live animals
  2. Plants
  3. Fertilisers and pesticides
  4. Weapons, ammunition, explosives and fireworks
  5. Medicines, drugs and medical equipment and instruments
  6.  Media publications and products
  7. New vehicle tyres
  8.  Transmission and wireless devices
  9. Alcoholic drinks
  10. Cosmetics and personal care products
  11. Raw diamonds

Apart from this, it’s very important that travellers coming to or departing from the UAE should disclose any currencies, negotiable instruments payable to bearer, and/or precious metals of stones valued more than AED60,000, or equivalent in other currencies.

Jetsanza.com assists travellers with Dubai Visas and holiday packages. Email [email protected] or Whatsapp +233249383939 for our exceptional Dubai Travel Services.

Free Dubai visa this summer; see who qualifies

Starting this year, tourists travelling to the UAE during summer won’t need to pay visa fees for dependents aged 18 years or below.

The Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship announced that the fee exemption will be applicable between July 15 and September 15 every year to boost tourist numbers during the off peak season.

The UAE Cabinet hinted of the exemption last September but this will be the first year of its implementation.

Over 33 million passengers have already traveled to the UAE this year.

Free SIM cards for tourists in Dubai

Giant mobile network DU, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) and Smart Dubai, have launched an initiative to give tourists free pre-paid SIM cards.

Tourists visiting Dubai will be given the card free of charge.

Immigration Officers will hand the complimentary tourist SIM pack to all tourists who are over the age of 18 at the immigration counter.

The SIM comes with three minutes of talk time and 20MB of mobile data.

Tourists can top up the SIM and will be deactivated once they leave the country.

Almost 16m overnight visitors in Dubai in 2018

Dubai edged towards its target of becoming the most visited city in the world with 15.92 million international overnight visitors in 2018.

The record number of visitors followed a series of customised global outreach programmes carried out by Dubai Tourism, according to Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism.

“Exposing our industry to new potential in order to convert a higher share of the dynamically evolving global outbound travel market has helped steady Dubai’s base tourism volumes throughout last year,” Almarri said.

“Our strategic investments, innovative destination promotion programmes, responsive federal policy reforms, and long-term global partnerships – all backed by the tremendous support of our stakeholders across the government and private sector – continue to yield strong results as we ramp up efforts to increase Dubai’s accessibility, visibility and overall appeal, minimise barriers to travel, deliver new standards in global travel experiences, and ultimately drive both first-time and repeat visitation,” he added.

India was the number one source market, with over 2 million visitors, fuelled by business partnerships with key industry leaders and national publications like TOI across India, and tailored destination-focused campaigns, such as multi-award-winning #BeMyGuest, a collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, as well as highly targeted seasonal activations to resonate with a diverse range of Indian audiences.

Saudi Arabia was the second highest with 1.6m visitors, helped by customised activations including specialised city-wide activities and promotions for KSA National Day celebrations.

The UK was again the top European market, with 1.2m visitors despite Brexit conversations impacting overall outbound travel and consumption sentiment from the country.

China, Russia and Germany all saw double-digit increases, with China rising 12 per cent in year-on-year growth to bring in 857,000, Russia increasing 28% (678,000) and Germany up 12% (506,000)

Hotel supply

Dubai’s hotel sector observed an 8% growth over a 12-month period versus 2017, with the total number of hotel and hotel apartments keys reaching 115,967 across 716 establishments.

Luxury five-star hotels made up 33% of the emirate’s total inventory, with four-star hotels commanding a 26% share.

Hotel apartment establishments constituted a combined 21% of the total inventory, split into deluxe/superior and standard categories.

With average occupancy reaching 76%, occupied room nights were up to 30.13 million, while guests’ average length of stay remained unchanged at 3.5 nights.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa sets new record; opens world’s highest lounge

The world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa in Dubai has set new record.

The Lounge Burj Khalifa has been opened on the highest point of Burj Khalifa’s levels 152, 153 and 154.

The world’s highest restaurant, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa which spans the three floors also features an outdoor terrace.

The Lounge, Burj Khalifa will feature daily live musical performances from international artists and performers.

Among the several lifestyle experiences awaiting visitors is the High Tea which is priced at USD 150 paid in addition to Burj Khalifa entry fees.