United Arab Emirates
Last update 23 May 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 2: Increased attention (please be informed in detail about the current situation in the country)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Consulate General the Republic of Bulgaria in Dubai
Address: Jumeira Road, Villa № 18, Dubai, U.A.E.; P.O. Box 72535
Telephone: +971 4 3442419;
Fax: +971 4 3442341
Out-of-hours hotlines: +97143442419
Consular Section, working days: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 09.30 - 1.00 pm
Closed: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.mfa.bg/embassies/uaegc
1 USD = 3.67 AED (fixed exchange rate).
VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DINERS CLUB credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shopping centres and shops.
Currency is exchanged only in banks and exchange bureaus; exchange outside of authorised places is punished.
Crime and security
The overall Crime rate in the UAE is low, but this does not preclude the taking of preventive measures for personal security. Potential threats of terrorism are not excluded for the Middle East, including the UAE. Places most at risk are public places and tourist sites visited by tourists and foreign nationals. Criminal offences such as theft and sexual abuse are rare, but occur most often in circumstances related to alcohol use, visits to night clubs and establishing relations with unknown persons. It is advisable not to take drinks, cigarettes, etc. from strangers, and also not to use unauthorised taxis and other transportation services.
Foreign nationals need to take into account a range peculiarities of local laws and traditions and adhere to them during their stay in the country.
During the holy month of Ramadan, they should not eat, drink and smoke in public places and in cars.
Possession of even minimal quantities of drugs can lead to a sentence of 4 years of imprisonment.
The presence of traces of drugs in the body may be considered by the authorities as drug possession.
Transit passengers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may also be arrested.
Alcoholic beverages are served at licensed restaurants and bars, but their use or behaviour exhibiting alcohol use in public places is punishable. Non-Muslim long-term staying foreigners can obtain a license for the purchase and home use of alcohol.
Obscene gestures, foul language and offensive behaviour in public places are punishable.
Gestures and behaviour of attraction, such as kissing, hugging, etc. in public places is forbidden.
Extramarital sexual relationships are punishable.
Homosexual relationships and behaviour are punishable.
The importation of pornographic materials is illegal.
Driving after use of even a minimum amount of alcohol is a serious offense.
Your insurance may be declared invalid in such cases, and financial losses and claims are paid by the offending driver.
Clothing in public places should not be provocative.
It is not considered acceptable to photograph locals without their permission.
Bulgarian driving licenses are recognized in the UAE as of July 2018, if they are used by travelers who are of Bulgarian nationality.
In case of long-term stay in the UAE, the replacement of a Bulgarian driving license with an emirate one is admissible without the need for an aptitude test.
The United Arab Emirates are among the Signatory countries of the Convention on Road Traffic - Vienna, 1968.
The level of security is good. Driving requires constant attention and strict observation of traffic signs and speed limits.
Ignoring a red light can lead to heavy fines and imprisonment of up to one month, especially if the offense has created a risk of an accident.
In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, an international driving license is required to hire a car.
For other Emirates, a local driving license is required.
In case of a transport accident, it is necessary to comply with the rules of the respective emirate. In Abu Dhabi, you should not move your car until police arrive, even if this causes traffic interference. In Dubai, you can move your car only if it causes traffic interference. In other Emirates, the car can be moved if the incident is minor and both parties have agreed on liability. It is a serious breach to leave the scene of the accident before the arrival of police.
Even minor signs of irritation while driving, such as rude gestures, can lead to substantial penalties.
The use of medical centres in the UAE by short-term staying foreigners requires a prior medical insurance, or medical costs are to be covered on the spot.
Upon registration of long-term residence in the country, a number of medical tests for AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis "C" need to be made. Certificates issued abroad are not recognised. If the test results are positive, the foreigner is subject to deportation.
Travel papers and visas
Effective May 6th, 2015 EU nationals no longer need a visa to travel to UAE for tourism or leisure.They are allowed to stay up to 90 days every 6 months.
The requirements for long-stay visas and work visas remain unchanged. To start working in the UAE requires a special work permit issued by the local Authorities.
- The foreign passport should be valid for at least 6 months at the time of the visit;
- In case of overstay, a fine of 100.00 dirhams for each day of overstay is imposed.
Useful information can be found HERE.
Certification and legalisation
Documents issued by local institutions are recognised in Bulgaria only when containing the original stamp of the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE, or if such a stamp is attached to them.
Such documents, which are also accompanied by a certification by the Consulate General, need to be translated into Bulgarian.
The Consular Office at the General Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria does not make translations of documents.
Documents issued by Bulgarian institutions are recognised in the UAE only when bear the stamp of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then, the document must be translated into English or Arabic, and translation needs to be certified in the “Certification and Legalisation” Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Consulate General of Bulgaria in Dubai has to certify the stamp and the certified translation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE should certify the stamp of the Bulgarian Consulate General.
Issuance of Bulgarian identity documents
The Consular Office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria - Dubai, UAE offers a biometric office for processing and forwarding of applications for Bulgarian identity documents (passport, identity card, driving license and a temporary passport).
For registration of birth certificates, marriage or death, an original document must be issued by the local authorities, which is to be certified and legalised by the Ministry of Interior and legalised by the Foreign Ministry - UAE. Once the necessary signatures and stamps from the local authorities have been obtained, the document is submitted to the Consular Office. The Consular officer shall endorse the signature and stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – UAE, and the document is sent/taken to Bulgaria by the person concerned and/or its agent.