Travelling to the UAE
Travelling to the UAE Entry rules in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry requirements into the UAE can change at any time especially regarding the COVID-19 entry requirements and we recommend to everyone coming to the UAE 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 before departure and present the certificate at check in. These need to be taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Dubai and no more than 48 hours prior to departure for arrivals to Abu Dhabi. 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.
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. Other test results including antibody tests are not accepted.
Further information about COVID-19 updates is available on the UAE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates webpage. 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.
Entry into Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi operates a system of ‘green list’ countries, ‘non-green list’ countries and ‘travel corridors’ and different procedures will apply depending on the country that you have travelled from and your vaccination status. Quarantine and testing requirements vary and may change over time. Further information about COVID19 procedures for Abu Dhabi for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers is available on the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has updated the procedure to enter Abu Dhabi emirate from within the UAE, for vaccinated citizens, residents and visitors, effective from 19 September 2021 and removed the requirement for a COVID19 PCR test. The rules for entering and remaining in Abu Dhabi may change at short notice. You should check the current requirement from the Abu Dhabi Media Office website and on the Emirates News Agency website.
Visitors must register via the ICA Smart Travel Service prior to travel and take a COVID-19 PCR test up to 48 hours before they fly. Vaccination is not a condition of entry. Visitors will also need to take a PCR test upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International airport without the need to quarantine, download the Al Hosn App and take further PCR tests if staying in the emirate. Children under 12 years and individuals with official exemptions do not need to take a PCR test upon arrival. Further information is available on the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
Arrivals from certain countries as listed on the Visit Abu Dhabi Green List will not be required to isolate regardless of their vaccine status. The UK is included on this list but may be removed at short notice. The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved home quarantine without the use of wristbands for international travellers and those in contact with positive cases with effect from 19 September 2021. Positive cases must still wear a wristband.
Unvaccinated travellers, including those exempt from vaccination, arriving into Abu Dhabi from green list destinations must take a PCR test on arrival, without the need to quarantine, and take PCR tests on days 6 and 9.
More information about quarantine and testing requirements for travellers to Abu Dhabi is available on the UAE Government Portal and Abu Dhabi Media Office website. Further information is also available on the Etihad Airlines website including a guide for arrivals in Abu Dhabi.
Further information about what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai including information about testing before departure, testing on arrival and quarantine is available on the Emirates Airline website.
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.
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.
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.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) has a visa hotline: +971 (0)9 208 3344.
If you have any questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, contact UAE Immigration directly. You can find out further information about visas on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website for Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website for the rest of the UAE.
If you’re living outside the UAE, contact the nearest UAE Embassy for advice.
All individuals who wish to remain in the UAE beyond the validity of their visa must contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website for Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website for the rest of the UAE well in advance or they may be subject to fines for overstaying.