Requirements for obtaining a visit visa for Dubai vary depending on your nationality. GCC citizens do not require a visa to enter Dubai, and citizens of 33 other countries can get a visa on arrival in Dubai. Nationalities not in this list can get a 30/40/60 day tourist visa sponsored by a local entity, such as a hotel or tour operator, and this should be obtained before entry into Dubai. Two other options are a transit visa (valid for up to 14 days) or a visit visa.
In general, visit visas are valid for either 30 days (short term visit visa) or 90 days (long term visit visa). Both visas are non-renewable. Fees for short term visa are AED 620 application fee + typing fee and for long term visa, it is AED 1120 application fee+ typing fees. Also a deposit of AED 1000 is to be paid by the local sponsor/relative/resident which can be reimbursed after the visit visa holder has left the country.
Multiple-entry visas are available for visitors who have links with local businesses that require them to visit regularly. Multiple-entry visas are valid for visits of a maximum of 14 days each time, for six months from date of issue. It costs AED 2,100 (plus AED 20 delivery fee) and should be applied for after entering the UAE on a visit visa.
For visitors travelling through Dubai/UAE airports in transit, a special transit visa is available through certain airlines. It is valid for 96 hours and costs AED 100.
Other entry visas for Dubai include:
Visit visa for residents in GCC countries (AED 200 and renewal AED 700)
Entry permit for study or training (AED 550 & renewal AED 600)
Entry permit for medical treatment (AED 550 and renewal AED 500)
Multiple entry visa for medical treatment (AED 1,400)
It is important to remember that visa laws can change frequently, and therefore it is always advisable that you check with the UAE Embassy in your home country before you travel.