Dubai Covid Restrictions on Flights to the Country

Being a desert country, the winter season provides the perfect climate to explore the many wonders that Dubai holds and thus is generally the time when the country’s tourism industry peaks. Adding to this remarkably hospitable time of the year is Expo2020 Dubai which is less than a month away and is sure to draw in millions with the hopes of enjoying this amazing event to the fullest.

While Dubai has relaxed its Covid restrictions in most places and life in the country has, overall, gone back to normal, travelling to the country still has its fair share of precautions that tourists will need to adhere to.

But what exactly are these precautions and rules that need to be taken into account? Well, dear reader, if you are unaware then we are most happy to enlighten you on what exactly you’ll need to adhere to when planning out your trip to Dubai.

Is a VISA Required?

For most, the answer is ‘yes’ but there are exceptions depending on your nationality. You can check out if you fall into the latter here.

Is Being Vaccinated Necessary?

Although you are not required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, you will be required to be tested for the disease before travel and in some cases upon arrival.

Need More Info About PCR Tests?

All travellers arriving in Dubai must have a negative PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before departure. 

However, negative results in the form of SMS certificates, NHS Covid Test certificates, antibody tests, rapid PCR tests and home testing kits will not be accepted. The result of the test must be official, either printed or digital, and written in Arabic or English. If you have a certificate in any other language, it will need to be validated at your departure point. You will need to keep this certificate ready for presentation at the check-in point.

A report with a QR code linked to it must be presented at check-in and upon arrival in Dubai if you’re a passenger from Indonesia, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Ethiopia. This is for verification purposes.

Is Permission Necessary to Travel?

Neither the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) nor the Federal Authority for Identity, and Citizenships (ICA) in Dubai requires approval for tourists to enter the country.

However, It’s important to note that if you’re a passenger arriving from India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Vietnam, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia then you’ll need to follow certain rules as outlined below:

  • You’ll need to produce a negative PCR test certificate, with a linked QR code, that has been issued from an approved clinic within 48 hrs of your departure. 
  • You’ll need to take a rapid PCR test at your departure point within six hours of your flight and present the negative result in a QR code.
  • As there are no rapid PCR testing facilities in the airports of Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Zambia, travelling directly from one of these countries to Dubai is not possible.
Which Facilities Are Approved For Testing?

There is a list of approved testing laboratories by the UAE which can be seen here

Can Indians Get a VISA on Arrival in Dubai?

If you have a visitor visa or green card from the United States, or a residence visa from the United Kingdom/European Union, you can get a visa on arrival for 14 days. The visas must be valid for at least six months before they expire. Otherwise, you’ll have to apply for a visit visa to the UAE if you don’t already have one.

Is a Second Test on Arrival Necessary?

This will depend on which country you’re coming from. If you’re travelling to Dubai from any of the below countries, you’ll have to do a second test.

Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Cambodia, Cyprus, Croatia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Georgia, Greece, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Montenegro, Moldova, Myanmar, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Somaliland, Slovakia, Somalia, South Sudan, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe.

Will I Have to Quarantine Upon Arrival in Dubai?

While you will not be subject to quarantine upon arrival, you will not be able to leave your place of residence until the test results arrive. If it’s negative, you will be free to go out and enjoy your trip. However, a positive result means you will have to isolate in accordance with the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.

Are There Any People Exempt from Taking the PCR Test?

There are exemptions for children younger than 12 years of age and for passengers with disabilities such as the ones outlined below.
Alzheimer’s disease, ataxia, autism spectrum, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, acute spinal cord injury, brain tumours, Bell’s palsy, cerebral aneurysm, Down syndrome, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and seizures.

How To Enjoy Your Trip To Dubai

The biggest upcoming event in Dubai is, no doubt, Expo 2020 Dubai and we at Kanoo Travel are happy to provide you with tickets for this thrilling event. The event will run from the 1st of October 2021 to the 31st of March 2022 and will feature a variety of themed exhibitions spread across 190 country pavilions with about 60 shows per day. There are also over 200 dining venues that will allow you to try out incredible food from all around the world.

Public attractions are currently open for business and concerts, sports and other such spectator events are allowed to have audiences so long as they are all inoculated with an approved vaccine. Restaurants and cafes are also open. Do note that face masks are mandatory when moving about in public.

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