General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) (Department of Naturalisation and Residence Dubai, DNRD)
The Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) processes entry permits, visit visas, residence visas, etc for entering and living in the UAE if you come in through Dubai. DNRD is also referred to as the Dubai Immigration Department or Dubai Naturalisation and Residence Department. Other emirates have similar offices. See the list of UAE immigration departments.
Tel 800-5111 (toll-free in UAE; from overseas use +971-4-3139999) for DNRD Dubai immigration helpline, available 24 hrs for UAE visa questions (related to any UAE emirate). For email questions use email@example.com.
- Director of the DNRD is Brigadier or Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri (appointed 2006).
- DNRD was established in October 1971 by royal decree of Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai at the time. That was a couple of months before the UAE was founded on 02 December 1971.
DNRD name change to General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA, GDRFAD, DGDRFA)
- The DNRD will separate some functions and change its name on instructions from the UAE Ministry of Interior according to a Gulf News report 01 November 2009 (not seen elsewhere as of 10 November 2009). NRD departments in other emirates will also be renamed.
- The Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) deals with visas and residence permits.
- The Naturalisation Department, UAE passports department, and passport control will operate independently (as of November 2009).
- Information based on comments quoted in the Gulf News from Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, and Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Acting Deputy Assistant at the UAE Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders.
- It will probably take a while for the change of name to filter through, residents and visitors should be fine for the next couple of years if they still refer to the 'DNRD'. Information on this page has not been updated to reflect the change yet (neither has the DNRD website for that matter).
- Amer DNRD helpline service tel 800-5111 toll-free in the UAE, a 24/7 helpline to answer visa questions, and urgent application enquiries. There is also a live online chat system on the DNRD website.
- E-gate - electronic entry and exit system at Dubai Airport
- Entry permit and visa issue for tourists and visitors
- Exit permit issue
- Health insurance policies which can be issued with visit visa applications
- Investigate and arrest illegal residents, visa overstayers, and absconders
- Labour card cancellation for workers
- Online application for visas through the DNRD website for companies
- Passport issuance and renewal for UAE nationals
- Residence visa issue for resident expatriates
- UAE citizenship applications
- Work permits issued to domestic workers (maids, houseboys, etc) and labourers
DNRD head office and branch locations
The main Dubai Naturalization and Residency office is on Trade Center Road just before it goes under the Trade Center Roundabout to join Sheikh Zayed Road in the Al Jafiliya (Al Jaffilya, Jaffiliah, etc) area of Dubai. It's a large white building next to the Bur Dubai traffic police department. Parking is difficult at the best of times but there is usually parking available across Trade Center Road outside Zabeel Park (see location map). A new DNRD building with more parking was scheduled to be open by the end of 2007 (according to a November 2005 press release).
DNRD offices offering all services (residency visas, entry permits, UAE passports) are:
- Abu Hail Center, near the Palm Deira entrance and Al Hamriya Port, open July 2005, working hours 07:30-14:30
- Bur Dubai Head Office near Dubai World Trade Center roundabout
- Dubai Airport Free Zone
- Hatta, on main road coming in from Dubai at Hatta Fort Hotel roundabout, open June 2005, opening hours 07:30-14:30. Special service offers pick up and delivery of documents to homes of elderly people.
- Jebel Ali Free Zone
Other DNRD external centers, branches and offices in Dubai with a restricted range of services are (some locations may be repeated with different names):
- Aamal Center (A'amal Centre), Hyatt Regency Hotel, Deira
- Al Diwan Centre (Al Dewan Center)
- Arabian Plaza shopping mall in Mirdif, Al Mizhar - visa services
- Bab Al Shams - E-gate card issuing facilities at the Jumeirah Group hotel resort, tel +971-4-8096100
- Bin Sougat Center, Rashidiya (also Bin Souqat, Suqat, Sugat Center) - entry permits, residence visas, e-gate cards First opened in 2005.
- DNATA Al Quoz
- DNATA Aviation Center
- DNATA Center
- Dubai Drydocks
- Dubai Industrial City
- Dubai International Airport terminals 1, 2, 3
- Dubai International Airport - passport renewal office for UAE citizens
- Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)
- Dubai Media City
- Dubai Police Headquarters
- Emirates Airline Office Center
- Emirates Airlines DNATA Holidays building, Safa Park roundabout, Sheikh Zayed Road (e-gate cards)
- Emirates Airlines Ramool
- Hamriya Port
- Jebel Ali Port
- Jumeirah, open February 2008 at the Umm Suqueim Dubai Municipality center, services include visa and residence procedures, sponsorship transfers, domestic worker applications.
- Karama Center
- Shindahga Port (Shindagha Port) area
- Port Rashid - new immigration office opened in November 2010 to provide services for tourists arriving at the Dubai Cruise Terminal.
- Umm Suqeim - see Jumeirah
DNRD opening hours and timings
Working hours for most departments of the DNRD main office are 7:30 am to 8 pm (0730-2000) Sundays to Thursdays.
Eid Al Fitr 2010 opening times extended from 2130-0030 (until last day of Eid) at Dubai Immigration Office at Bin Sougat Shopping Center in Rashidiyah.
- DNRD External Centers opening hours might be 0730-1430 and 1430-2000 in two shifts but check with the DNRD that both shifts operate.
- Usually Fridays and Saturdays are closed.
- Occasionally the DNRD is open for a few hours during Eid and other holidays - timings are something like 9am or 10am to 1pm (0900 or 1000-1300) but check with the DNRD or look out for announcements in Dubai newspapers.
- During Ramadan, opening hours are reduced to something like 0900-1730 (in 2007), 0800-1600 (in 2008), 0800-1800 (in 2010).
- Ramadan 2010 late opening hours 2130-2400 at the Arabian Mall in Mirdiff according to Major General Mohammad Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Department, reported in the Khaleej Times 12 August 2010 - "However, the Residency department at the Arabian Centre in Mirdiff area shall remain open from 9.30pm till 12 midnight for emergency cases."
- Eid Al Fitr 2009 (after Ramadan) hours 0900-1300 at main branch in Jafiliya, also Abu Hail, Arabian Mall Dubai, DNATA Center, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Hatta Passport Section, Jebel Ali.
Dubai immigration and residency numbers, facts and figures
- 20 external centres operating under the DNRD processed about 4 million applications from January 2009 to July 2010. Major General Mohammad Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Department, said "As many as 1,112,601 transactions were timely accomplished in the first half of 2010, compared to 2,841,945 over the same period in 2009." (Khaleej Times 10 August 2010).
DNRD Amer video conference and self service kiosks
- So you don't have to talk to a real DNRD person if you have a question, their Amer department is helpfully setting up videoconference kiosks at DNRD branches, Dubai shopping centers, and Dubai airport to answer your visa and immigration related questions. The first one was demonstrated at GITEX 2008, and they're scheduled to be available from early 2009.
DNRD women's sections
In the UAE it is usually acceptable for females to jump to the head of a queue of males. With the advent of "take-a-number" type systems in many buildings, including the DNRD, this shortcut is not so easy to take advantage of. As an alternative, many organisations offering public services have a separate women's counter. The DNRD is implementing separate women's sections, with the first offices having partitions installed sometime after September 2007.
DNRD contact details
- DNRD tel +971-4-3980000 (enquiries)
- DNRD customer service tel +971-4-3139999 (24 hours)
- DNRD Media Center tel +971-4-7074549 (news and press releases)
- DNRD fax +971-4-3981119 (DNRD website says 009713981119 which is incorrect - the Dubai area code, 4, is missing)
- Amer tel 8005111 (toll free in the UAE), or maybe 80080 toll-free also.
- DNRD email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DNRD postal address: PO Box 4333, Dubai, UAE
Last update Tuesday 31-May-2016