When someone arrives in Dubai, if they hold a passport from one of the 34 ‘approved countries’, they will receive a visa stamp giving them the right to remain in Dubai for 30 days. The number and words "30 days" is clearly stamped. Oddly but up until the present time, the words “30 days” have meant that you could in fact stay in Dubai for 60 days and if you called the Immigration Dept or asked the officer issued the visa, they'd tell you so. In an earlier post you’ll have read how I did an unnecessary visa run as I thought 30 days meant, well, 30 days when in fact my visa was valid for 60 days.
Anyway, without warning and at an unspecified recent date, the visa stamp that shows “30 days” (which has always meant 60 days), now apparently means 40 days and people who are leaving the country, after having been told on arrival that they can stay for 60 days, are being fined for ‘overstaying’. Expats whose children have come to stay for the holidays have been shocked to find that their children are being fined or overstaying when they try to leave the country at the end of their holiday. Earlier this month a British child was fined 1800Dhr at the airport and was not allowed to board his flight until the money was paid. Fortunately the child’s father was at the airport and was able to pay the fine. When the father queried the sudden change in the rules, having been told when his son entered the country that the son’s visa was valid for 60 days, he was told that the rules can change every day and all travellers should be aware of that.
Other expats who’ve done a crossing at a land border within the last two days, have been told that the visa is not valid for 40 days but is only valid for 30 days.