Latest News: Passenger flights from India will remain suspended until at least 14 June (National News, 23.05.2021). Seychelles, United Arab Emirates: Quarantine-free travel bubble opens for between countries for fully vaccinated individuals (Emirati News, 13.05.2021). United Arab Emirates will ban entry for travelers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka from 12 May (Reuters, 10.05.2021).
*Testing before arrival: COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice, and travellers to the UAE are strongly encouraged to check the specifics, including the time frames for undertaking COVID-19 PCR tests before departure with their airline before they travel. Further details are available on British Airways, Emirates and Etihad websites including information about what these airlines accept as proof of a negative test.
Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test which was taken no more than 72 hours before departure and present the certificate at check in. Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also be required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result of the COVID-19 PCR test. Further details are available on British Airways, Etihad and Emirates.
If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival, depending on your symptoms and your accommodation plans, you may be required to self-isolate in a government facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately arranged accommodation for at least 10 days.
If you are transiting through the UAE to a country that requires a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, then you must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test before travelling.
In all circumstances, the test must be a COVID-19 PCR swab test. Other test results including antibody tests are not accepted. Further information about COVID-19 testing for travellers is available on the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority website. Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities will be exempted from the test requirement. Those entering the country may also be asked to take a further COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and to complete a period of self-isolation or quarantine. You should arrange to take a private test.
*Entry to Abu Dhabi: Visitors can travel to Abu Dhabi by road but must have had a negative COVID-19 PCR test before travel. There is also a requirement for further testing if visitors and residents remain in Abu Dhabi for 6 days or longer. The rules for entering and remaining in Abu Dhabi change regularly and you should check the current requirement from the Abu Dhabi Media Office and on the Emirates News Agency website.
All arrivals in Abu Dhabi must isolate for 10 days on arrival although arrivals from certain countries as listed on the Visit Abu Dhabi website will not be required to isolate. The UK was added to this list on 25 April 2021. This means that any travellers from the UK to Abu Dhabi will be exempt from quarantine requirements and can enter Abu Dhabi by following a series of procedures that include COVID-19 tests. However the UK may be removed from the ‘Green List’ at any time. More details are available on the Visit Abu Dhabi website
Further information is available on the Etihad Airlines website including a guide for arrivals in Abu Dhabi. Further advice for international arrivals in Abu Dhabi is also available from the Abu Dhabi Media Office.
*Dubai residents returning to or leaving Dubai: Further information about what returning residents need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Government of Dubai website including information about testing on arrival and quarantine.
Dubai residents must apply for a permit to return on the Dubai Government General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website. Further information about how to book a flight for returning residents is available on the Emirates Airline website. On their return to Dubai, returning residents will have to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB App.
*Visitors to Dubai: Further information about what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Government of Dubai website including information about testing before departure, on arrival and quarantine. Further information for visitors to Dubai is available on the Emirates Airline website. Visitors to Dubai will also have to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB App.
Before visitors fly to Dubai, they will also be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. Visitors to Dubai will also have to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB App.
Visitors must have international health insurance before travelling. All visitors to Dubai must adhere to all public health measures issued by the Dubai authorities including any requirements to quarantine.
*Quarantine requirements: Stringent entry restrictions remain in place upon arrival at all airports in the UAE which may include, but are not limited to, a Health Authority COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, mandatory quarantine period, usually via self-isolation at a private address if suitable, or a hotel or Government facility and follow up testing before you are able to complete quarantine. Once any quarantine period is complete you must continue to comply with all measures put in place by the UAE authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Arrivals from countries that the UAE authorities consider high risk, and/or for whom the authorities assess private accommodation in the UAE to be unsuitable, are likely to be required to quarantine in a government quarantine facility.
*Cruise ships: Passenger cruises are currently not allowed to dock in the UAE as a result of measures taken to combat COVID-19. A UAE-wide notice to mariners has issued. The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has adopted an enhanced member health policy which all CLIA ocean member cruise lines are required to follow to address COVID-19.
If you are planning to travel on an international cruise that is due to call at any port in the UAE, contact your travel company for the latest information.
*Exit rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) With effect from 18 January, all travellers to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
With effect from 1 August 2020, all travellers departing from Abu Dhabi to the EU will need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours prior to their departure. This is also a requirement for travellers to other countries that require a negative COVID-19 PCR test before arrival. Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities will be exempted from the test requirement.
Transit passengers from some countries are required to conduct a COVID-19 PCR test prior to departure for Dubai. The pre-travel test is also mandatory for transit passengers if their destination country requires them to do so. Further information is available on the Dubai Media Office website. All travellers departing from the UAE to the UK will also be required to complete the UK Government Public Health Passenger Locator Form online and provide a printed copy at the airport before departing the UAE. Further information is available on the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority website. Further information about testing facilities in the UAE is available on the UAE Government Portal.
*Travel within the United Arab Emirates: COVID-19 cases continue to be recorded in the UAE and public health measures are in place in response to the outbreak. These can vary between each Emirates and the ease of movement between regions is affected. The local rules may change, including at short notice. You should check them carefully before you travel and whilst you are in the UAE, and ensure you comply. The UAE authorities have stated that any violation of instructions and procedures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 will be treated as a crime punishable by law. Since 2 June 2020, travel by land to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has been restricted although movement within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is allowed. The rules for entering and remaining in Abu Dhabi change regularly and you should check the current requirement from the Abu Dhabi Media Office and on the Emirates News Agency website.
*Public spaces and services: Most shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and religious establishments are open but there are restrictions and requirements in place to help contain the disease. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks is mandatory when away from your home. This also applies to visitors staying in hotels when they are not in their room. Most schools across the UAE reopened at the start of the 2020/21 academic year with a number of COVID-19 measures in place. Some have since closed following COVID-19 outbreaks. All schools in Abu Dhabi and some schools in Dubai moved to remote learning at the beginning of 2021 although some are starting to reopen with COVID-19 measures in place. Many events in the UAE been cancelled. If you are planning to attend a specific event, check with the organisers.