Traveling to COP28
The information below is intended as a helpful starting guide as you begin your preparations to travel to Dubai, UAE, for COP28. It should not be considered a complete list of all travel considerations and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of third-party infomation. We highly encourage you to do your own due diligence when making your travel arrangements.
We strongly recommend you review the Travel Advice and Advisories for the Uniter Arab Emirates for the latest information and warnings about travel in the area.
Passport & Visa Requirements
If you are travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) you will require a visa to enter the country regardless of your national passport. Foreign participants must have a passport which is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of entry into the UAE.
Tourist visa: not required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
If you’re entering the UAE as a tourist, you must obtain an entry stamp at the port of entry. This entry stamp is free and valid for 30 days. Ahead of the expiry of the initial 30-day period, you may request a validity extension for an additional 30 days.
Traveling on a COP28 UAE Visa
This information was sourced from the COP28 website. Please visit the site for more information: www.cop28.com/en/blue-zone-visit
The UAE Government has authorized an electronic, free of charge Special Entry Permit for all UNFCCC-registered COP28 UAE event attendees, also known as the COP28 UAE Visa. Once you have completed your UNFCCC registration you will receive a UNFCCC registration confirmation email which will include a link to apply for the COP28 UAE Visa.
Through the link, please visit the visa portal, fill out the form, upload the required documents and submit it for approval. Once approved, you will receive the visa confirmation email with a link to download your COP28 UAE Visa.
All foreign participants entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must have a passport which is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of entry into the UAE.
It is mandatory for all foreign UNFCCC-registered participants entering the UAE to apply for the COP28 UAE Visa, prior to arrival, using the visa application link within the UNFCCC registration confirmation email.
Processing of the COP28 UAE Visa application may take up to 72 hours after submission. Participants are therefore strongly encouraged to take the necessary steps to apply, as soon as their UNFCCC registration is confirmed. Your application status can be checked using the link in your visa application confirmation email (received after submitting the visa application).
To facilitate a seamless visa issuance process, it is imperative to provide all the required information including the UNFCCC registration code on the COP28 UAE Visa application portal.
The following documents are required to apply for a Special Entry Permit:
- Your UNFCCC Registration Code
- Correctly filled visa application form on the visa portal
- Clear colored copy of passport with minimum 6 months validity from arrival into UAE (jpg/png/pdf; max 500kb)
- Clear colored copy of UNLP (United Nations Laissez-Passer) (if applicable) (jpg/png/pdf; max 500kb)
- Clear recent passport-size applicant colored photo with white background
Flights & Accommodations
Culture & Etiquette
Dubai is considered to be a truly global city with a unique culture and rich history. Below is some general information about things to consider and prepare for to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience while visiting. Please remember the UAE is a deeply religious country and travelers should be respectful of Islamic values and culture.
English is widely spoken in Dubai.
Dubai is considered a very safe destination for international travellers. Crime is virtually nonexistent and petty theft is rare.
The currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham or AED. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and stores.
Dubai has numerous transportation options to get around the city, including public transportation, taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber.
Food & Beverage
While not traditionally known for its plant-based food, Dubai is increasingly catering to alternative diets, so vegans and vegetarians will find plenty of options.
Alcohol is not widely served in Dubai. It can be found in hotels, restaurants, and bars targeted toward tourists. Avoid drinking in public areas. Being inebriated in public is a criminal offence.
As the UAE is a Muslim country its important to be culturally sensitive and dress appropriately, with an emphasis on dressing modestly, especially in crowded areas. It’s advisable for people of all genders to wear clothes that cover their arms and legs. Please be advised you can be arrested for violating dress code ethics. Please note that religious buildings often have a strict dress code, particularly for women.
Greetings & Public Displays of Affection
Being humble and respecting local traditions is considered strongly recommended for tourists in Dubai. Avoid making offensive hand gestures or shaking hands with the opposite sex unless they offer to do so themselves. Never shake hands or greet anyone with your left hand.
Public displays of affection are heavily frowned upon and can result in fines or arrest.
The UAE has zero tolerance for drug use, and this can include some prescription medications. Double-check the status of all the medications you are planning to take on your visit to Dubai to ensure they are allowed.
It is considered offensive to photograph locals and certain buildings in Dubai. Ask permission before doing so. Avoid taking photographs of airports, police stations, ports, royal palaces, and military buildings.
Homosexuality is still illegal in the UAE. Any public displays of affection between members of the same sex could result in arrest. Cross-dressing is also illegal. There are no anti-discrimination laws in place, and same-sex marriage is not recognized. This means that gay people have no legal recourse if they face discrimination or violence.