Visiting the UAE? You Need to Have a Last Name on Your Passport

According to a new directive from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), all passengers traveling to and from the Emirates will now be required to declare both their first and last names. This change came into effect on November 21st, 2022, for all international travelers.

Passengers who are not able to provide both their first and last names may be considered “inadmissible” under civil aviation laws and may not be allowed to enter this gulf country. In such cases, these passengers will be taken back to their country of origin by the airline.

If you’re planning on traveling to the UAE, make sure you have your passport ready with your full name.


Let’s understand this with an example; a recent change to passport regulations requires that travelers use both a given name/first name and a second name/family name/surname when entering information into their passports. This means that inserting a name such as “Shameem Ahmed” as the first name and ‘LNU’ as the second name section or “FNU’ as the first name and “Shameen Ahmed” as the last name will no longer work on your passport if you have to visit the UAE.

However, if you use “Shameem” as your given/first name and “Ahmed” as your second/surname, that will be acceptable. This change is designed to help prevent identity theft and other passport-related crimes. Travelers should be able to provide both a given name and a surname on their passports.

This will help ensure that their identity is accurately represented in their passport and that they are allowed into the UAE.

The Amendments

The UAE is well known for its tough entry requirements, but recent changes to the visa system may make it easier for some travelers to gain entry into the country. Recent guidelines state that passengers with only one name will be eligible for a visa on arrival (VoA) if they have their father’s name or family name on the second page. This change will make it easier for travelers from countries where surnames are not commonly used.

Exemptions Rules

If you’re planning on visiting the United Arab Emirates, you’ll need to make sure your passport includes your last name. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

  • People traveling on residence or employment visas, or people with an Emirates ID.
  • UAE-issued visa with additional names.
  • Government passport holders, whether diplomatic, service, official or special.

If you’re planning on traveling to the UAE, make sure to check your travel documents in advance or ensure that you fall into the above-mentioned exemptions to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Biometric Scanning

The United Arab Emirates has always been a country of firsts. It was the first country in the GCC to introduce compulsory military service, the first to launch its own satellite and the first to establish a Minister of Happiness. Now, the UAE is once again forging ahead with its plans to become a world leader in biometric technology.

The UAE’s e-gate system uses iris recognition to speed up checking for Emirati citizens and residents. The system was first introduced at Dubai International Airport in 2012 and has since been rolled out to all airports in the country. 

By using iris recognition, the UAE is able to provide a quick and convenient way for its citizens and residents to enter and exit the country. 

In addition, the use of biometric technology helps to improve security by reducing the possibility of identity theft. With its cutting-edge technology and world-class infrastructure, the UAE is quickly becoming a global hub for technological innovation.

ICAO Standards for Passport Names

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has issued recommendations on how passport names should be implemented in order to standardize practices across different countries. The name of the passport holder is broken down into two parts:

  • Primary identifier (which may be the family name, maiden name, or married name),
  • Secondary identifier (which may be the given name, main name, or surname). 

The International Civil Aviation Organisation urges the use of upper-case characters throughout the name fields on the passport. In addition, a comma is to be used to separate the two parts (primary identifier & secondary identifier) of the name unless multiple fields are used, in which case a comma is not needed.

ICAO has said that the above recommendations should be implemented in order to increase safety and efficiency in air travel. The organization believes that this will help to reduce confusion and delays at airports, as well as improve security.

In addition, the implementation of passport names will also help to standardize the format of passports, making it easier for authorities to verify the identity of travelers. The UAE is one of the countries that have already implemented this system, and it is hoped that other countries will follow suit.


The UAE is always at the forefront of adopting new technologies to improve the lives of its citizens. Recently, it has implemented a system where you need to have your second name/surname/family name mentioned on your passport. This will help to speed up immigration processes and reduce the possibility of identity theft. Additionally, it is important that each country follows the ICAO recommendations for passport names in order to ensure a smooth transition for travelers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *