When planning to travel to Dubai, you may or may not require a UAE tourist visa. It depends on your nationality. Just like most countries, UAE has a list of visa-exempt countries. There are 44 states whose citizens do not require a visa to visit the Emirates, but only as long as they do not exceed a specified period of time. For example, EU citizens (except Ireland and the UK) can stay in UAE for up to 90 days without a visa, while Chinese passport holders can stay for only 30. The rest of the nationalities require a visa, and they can get it at the nearest embassy or online depending on their eligibility.
Unless you are from a visa-exempt country, the answer to your question is yes. However, now you need to find out how to get a tourist visa if you travel to Dubai. You have two options: you either apply online for a UAE VISA, or you got to the nearest consulate. The first option implies that you are eligible for an online tourist visa. At the moment, only the citizens of 21 countries can apply online. You can check your eligibility using iVisa’s Visa Checker. It will let you know where you stand in just a second.
The second option implies that you are not eligible for a UAE e-visa, and your only alternative is to go to the nearest embassy of UAE and submit your application there. As you can imagine, the process is not as simple as it is online. Sometimes, you cannot really complain when you have no choice.
If you meet the eligibility requirement, you can use iVisa and apply online for a UAE tourist visa. iVisa uses the services of Etihad, but that should not concern you at all. To be able to apply online, you need to provide some information and fill in an application form. As for what you need to provide, here is a list of items you must give iVisa:
Valid passport – all applicants are required to have a passport that maintains its validity for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in UAE. If the document expires sooner than that, you need to have it renewed. Otherwise, you will not get your UAE visa.
A passport scan – make sure that the scan in JPEG format.
Passport photo – the photograph needs to meet the standards of a passport photo. Make sure that it is taken against a white background, and you look straight at the camera. Do not wear glasses, and headwear is not allowed unless you have religious reasons.
Valid e-mail address – when you apply online, a copy of your visa will be sent to you via e-mail.
Regardless of age, children also need their own passport, a photo, and a birth certificate in English or Arabic.
Once you see that all of the above is achieved, all you have to do is fill in an application form and then wait for your visa to arrive. Depending on what you select, you can get it in 2 days or 2 hours.
So, to answer your question, you need a tourist visa when you travel to Dubai, but only if you are not from a visa-exempt country. If that is the case, you can apply online or go to a consulate, whichever rule applies to your nationality.