Never did I imagine that I would go to Dubai for vacation. But because my friend and I scored ridiculously cheap roundtrip tickets – like, $30.00 cheap – last January 2015, we just had to go. 😀
First things first. Filipinos need a visa to go to Dubai. Based from experience, we learned there are several ways to obtain a visa:
- The easiest way is to have someone living and/or working in Dubai lodge your tourist visa application at a Dubai-based travel agency. We just sent scanned copies of our passports, passport-sized photo, and flight details.
- Some hotels can also ‘sponsor’ your stay and process the visa for you, but most of them require a security deposit of AED5,000 (around Php65,000!). To get the refund, you must send them a copy of your exit stamp upon your return to the Philippines.
- Some Dubai-based travel agency can sponsor your visa if you don’t have any family or friends in Dubai, but most of the time, you also have to avail of their hotel and/or tour package.
- Lodge your visa application through a local (PH-based) travel agency. However, we found this very expensive. The visa fee can range from Php9,000.00 (e-visa) to Php12,000.00 (hard copy).