Well despite asking the Flight Centre in the UK, visiting Emirates desk at Birmingham, Dubai and South Africa and even asking at passport control in Dubai. I was still none the wiser until I came across this site after asking several different questions prior to booking my sons flight to Dubai.
I was told you can renew your 30 day tourist visit in Dubai, when you get there.
But when you get there, no one at the airport is remotely interested, they just stamp your passport and wave you through.
We booked for our son to fly to the UK from South Africa with a 35 day stop over in Dubai. He is due to fly back to the UK on Tuesday 27th January, 5 days over the 30 day visa.
The cost to change is flight with Emirates is around £75. I'm still unsure what the difference is between a tourist visa and a visit visa, one can be extended either by visiting a place in town or making a visa run flight over the boarder. Which is all explained in the above link.
The youngest child, although in school in the UK will be applying for residency here so we don't have to go through this hassle when he visits for the long school holidays.
I wish this had been made clearer to us when we were booking his flight.
He is now flying back to the UK on the 21st January 2015 and I'm losing a precious week of time with him before he joins the British Army on March 1st.
Today I extended my tourist visa for another 30 days. Apparently it's a quick and easy process, but it took just under 7 hours to do and cost around AED 800 each (approx £140)
5.22am taxi to airport
5.59am check in
7.15am bus to plane
7.35am board plane
8.10am take off to Oman
9.15am bus to terminal
9.25am step off bus, enter terminal, walk up one fight of stairs, turn left, walk down corridor, go through security checks, walk down one flight of stairs
9.33am bus to plane
9.40am board same plane you just arrived with same passengers and cabin crew
10.11am take off
10.52am land in Dubai
11.25am duty free a benefit to the flight