Residents of Gulf Cooperation Council countries Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will require an e-visa to enter the UAE from Friday April 29.
The plans will potentially affect millions of expatriates from across the region.
Captain Khalil Ibrahim, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, told Times of Oman that all GCC residents/permit holders would need to pre-apply for an online visa prior to their arrival in the UAE.
The changes will apply to both air and land travellers, he said, warning that those who do not have an e-visa will be turned away.
Citizens of 46 countries that have a treaty with the UAE, including the United Kingdom, United States and European Union countries, will still be granted a visa-on-arrival.
Ibrahim said the country aimed to reduce queues at borders and airports through the new system.
Dubai welcomed 4.1 million tourists in the first quarter including 476,000 and 322,000 from Saudi Arabia and Oman respectively.