The United Arab Emirates

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

Formal diplomatic relations between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were concluded during the visit by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to South Africa in 1994 for the inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela. The first UAE Ambassador arrived in South Africa on 12 November 1995.

South Africa is represented in the UAE by an Embassy as well as a Consulate. The Embassy was opened in Abu Dhabi on 17 January 1995, while the Consulate was opened in Dubai in August 1999. The Consulate also houses a South African Trade Office.

South African Embassy, Abu Dhabi:

South African Consulate General, Dubai:

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi:

H E Mr S Cachalia
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary


Mr M D Magabe

South African Embassy

The United Arab Emirates Representation in South Africa

H E Mr M S S M Alhameli
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates

Travel Info

Visa requirements for South Africans

  • Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders – Visas to enter Dubai can only be applied for at the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, through DIRCO’s Protocol Section.  Please note that the bearers of these passports can under no circumstances be issued with visas or transit visas upon arrival in the UAE.

  • Ordinary Passport Holders – Emirates Airlines can assist travelers to Dubai with visa applications. Should any other airline be utilized, travelers are requested to contact the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, or the relevant travel agency through which air tickets were purchased, in order to apply for visas.

  • Transit Visas to Enter Dubai – This type of visa is only issued in the case of a transit flight through Dubai to any other country, with a long stopover. The visa is valid for 72 or 96 hours and can be applied for on arrival in Dubai. The cost for the visa is approximately US $ 100. Should the traveler transit through Dubai with a short stopover, no visa is required provided that the passenger remains in the transit lounge of the airport. It should be noted that Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders cannot be issued with transit visas upon arrival.
Please note that on some occasions Emirates Airlines may provide free hotel accommodation to transit passengers (ordinary passport holders) who will be in transit for a long period of time. The Hotel is usually the Le Meridian Hotel and is outside the airport. Should this be the case, a visa will be issued, free of charge, at the airport.

Health Requirements

Expatriate workers are required to provide proof that they are HIV negative. People travelling from areas where yellow fever is endemic need to have a vaccination certificate.

Climate Info

The climate is hot and dry. The mean January temperature is 18 C and the mean temperature in July is 33 C. The average rainfall is 152 mm. Temperatures from May to September are frequently in the low forties with high humidity common in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

During winter, the entire country generally experiences very good weather though it is often quite windy.

For up-to-date weather information click here.

Currency Info

The UAE legal tender is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). There are 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 Dirham notes.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

No Information

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at 012 351 1000.

Trade Info

Main commodities exported to the UAE in 2012:

Base Metals                               R 1,776,154,405

Mineral Products                         R 1,744,982,772

Semi-precious Stones                 R 1,463,773,551

Vegetable Products                     R 1,247,529,548

Chemicals                                  R 721,500,090

Main commodities imported from the UAE in 2012:

Mineral Products                         R 6,722,636,518

Machinery                                  R 490,596,001

Plastics and Rubber                    R 415,385,377

Base Metals                               R 302,361,335

Chemicals                                  R 283,174,101

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, visit the website of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.

Interest Groups and Information

No Information

Frequently Asked Questions

For useful links to UAE websites:

Quick Links:

Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 19 January, 2022 5:23 PM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa