Traveling to the UAE? Here's the Updated Travel Guide You Need

Published August 31st, 2021 - 11:00 GMT
Traveling to the UAE? Here's the Updated Travel Guide You Need
Holders of entry permits and visit visas - from countries where travel to the UAE is restricted - can now fly to Dubai. (Shutterstock)
This article was update on Sep 2nd, 2021

Whether you're a resident in UAE who's been stranded out of the country because of the pandemic, or a tourist who's planning to visit the Gulf's fascinating pearl, then this fully updated travel guide will give you all the details and updates you need.

Vaccinated Passengers Coming to UAE

Starting 5 September 2021, Covid fully vaccinated tourists and residents traveling from all countries around the globe or ‘Green List’ countries, are no longer required to quarantine for 10 days.

Travelers must upload their international vaccination certificate or vaccination exemption document for verification 5 days before their travel date on the ICA app or website.

Of course, vaccines must be approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Traveling to the UAE as a resident

As of August 31st, UAE residents can now travel to Dubai without prior approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) — with the exception of travelers coming from 10 Asian and African countries. 

According to Emirates airline, residents traveling from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia will have to take approval from the GDRFA and ICA before flying to the UAE. This does not apply to passengers who have other types of visas, such as a newly-issued residence or employment visa, short stay or long stay visa, visit visa, or visa on arrival.

Emirates said that passengers arriving from these 10 countries must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code issued within 48 hours of the time the sample was collected at an approved health facility. In addition, they need to present a rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.

Passengers traveling from countries other than the 10 countries mentioned above must provide a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

Traveling to the UAE as a tourist

Holders of entry permits and visit visas - from countries where travel to the UAE is restricted - can now fly to Dubai. 

On August 28, The ICA and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that the country would resume issuing visas to COVID-vaccinated tourists starting August 30.

As of August 30th 2021, passengers with any type of visa and/or entry permission granted by the appropriate authority in the UAE will be allowed to travel to Dubai from Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.

Requirements and procedures: 

  • Passengers must present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic from a test taken in the country of departure by an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai.
  • Passengers must undergo a rapid PCR test at the departure airport within six hours of boarding the aircraft (the test report must display a QR code).
  • Passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Passengers traveling to the UAE who are exempted from the pre-departure COVID19 PCR test requirements

  • UAE nationals returning to Dubai from any country.
  • Non-UAE nationals accompanying a first-degree UAE national family member
  • Domestic workers accompanying a UAE national sponsor
  • Children below 12 years old
  • Passengers with moderate to severe disabilities.

Abu Dhabi's updated 'green list' 

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT- Abu Dhabi) has issued the updated ‘Green List’ for travel to Abu Dhabi that will be effective from September 1, 2021 (12:01am UAE time).

Visitors from the below 'green list' can travel to Abu Dhabi, and will be exempt from mandatory quarantine:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  •  Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Netherland
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine

The list is subject to change based on global COVID-19 developments.

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