BizJet Travel to Dubai for MEBAA 2016 – Part 2: Permits, CIQ & Visas

BizJet Travel to Dubai for MEBAA 2016 – Part 2: Permits, CIQ & Visas

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “BizJet Travel to Dubai for MEBAA 2016 – Part 1: Airports, Parking & Services.

While permit requirements and associated lead times are not onerous for Dubai and Dubai-area airports, it’s important to be mindful of differing requirements between the various Emirates. Also, customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) processes should be reviewed in advance due to the potential for delays due to increased traffic.

If you’re flying your business aircraft to Dubai for the 2016 MEBAA Show (December 6-8), the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. UAE permit requirements

Landing permits are needed for all aircraft operating to the UAE, but permit applications and documentation requirements vary depending upon the Emirate. Note that landing permits must be obtained from the appropriate Emirate and from the specific Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) associated with the particular airport. For example, if you’re traveling to Dubai, documentation requirements and the CAA you deal with will be different than if you’re operating to Abu Dhabi. In most cases, documentation requirements are somewhat similar for CAAs within the UAE. Be aware that overflight permits are not needed for the UAE as your filed flight plan serves as the required overflight notification.

2. Permit lead time and revisions

For operations to the UAE, official permit lead time is four business days with permit validity of 72 hours. Note that landing permit confirmation numbers must be placed in the ICAO section of the flight plan, and flight plans must always be on file 24 hours prior to departure. Permit revisions are required for any changes in schedule or aircraft.

3. Short notice permit requests and revisions

As CAAs at Dubai (OMDB), Al Maktoum (OMDW), Abu Dhabi (OMAA) and Bateen (OMAD) operate 24/7, there are opportunities to obtain landing permits on short notice and to revise permits in an expeditious manner. However, this is always at CAA’s discretion.

4. Insurance requirements

The UAE has mandated liability insurance minimums in effect. In most cases, minimum liability insurance requirements are 250,000 special drawing rights (SDRs) per passenger. In the case of non-commercial aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 2,700 kg or less minimum insurance per passenger must be at least 100,000 SDRs. For more detailed or specific information on mandated insurance requirements contact your trip support provider.

5. CIQ clearance

For OMDW, CIQ is always cleared at the GA terminal, and clearance usually takes about 10-15 minutes. However, during the MEBAA period clearance may take a little longer due to heightened traffic. OMDB also has a GA terminal, but CIQ clearance point depends upon your ground handler. OMAA, likewise, has a GA terminal where CIQ is usually cleared, but this again depends on your ground handler. OMAD normally clears GA flights at the GA terminal, but there’s a maximum aircraft size limitation at this location – up to B737- or A321-sized equipment.

6. Visa requirements

In most cases crew do not require visas for stays in the UAE of up to seven days. This visa free entry option is available for crew listed on the gen dec, in uniform and carrying the appropriate license. There are some exceptions to this rule – such as if you’re an Israeli national – so it’s always important to check on applicable requirements prior to arrival. In some cases, visa free crew stays beyond the seven day limitation are possible, such as when an aircraft is delayed for repair or maintenance purposes. Passengers, depending upon nationality, may require visas for the UAE. When visas are required it’s best that they are obtained in advance, but some nationals are eligible to get visas on arrival.


While permit revisions can be organized fairly expeditiously for this region, it’s important to ensure that appropriate lead time and documentation is provided. Also, be aware of the CIQ clearance processes, the average time to clear and visa requirements when traveling to this country.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance traveling to the UAE, contact me at