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Covid-19 in Dubai: Rules For Tourists Traveling To & From Dubai

by Carl smith

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc all over the world. Despite the fast rollout of vaccines, it seems far to be over. With the air of uncertainty and the prevalent gloom, cross-border traveling has never been this complex.


From traveling restrictions to quarantine rules and the rapid change in policies, you are never sure what lies ahead in your journey. If we talk about Dubai, the local government is resolute to keep the virus threat at bay.


Thus, fresh travel rules have been announced for the tourists and locals. Let’s have a broad look at them.


What Are The Necessary Requirements for Passengers Arriving in Dubai?

Irrespective of the country you are traveling from to Dubai, you need a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test – the test shouldn’t be older than 72 hours before the departure.


Please note that the authorities are not considering antibody tests, NHS COVID-19 test certificates, and rapid PCR tests. Likewise, self-testing and self-administered test results are not accepted.


Your test must be conducted by an authorized testing facility in your country. Besides that, the only official printed and digital certificates are accepted. 


And why it’s important to stay updated with the developing situation is the specific rules for different countries. Particularly in high-risk countries such as South Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Kenya, Ethiopia, and a few more where infection rates are very high.


So, what are the rules for each country? Let’s have a look at those.


Rules For People Travelling From India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, & Srilanka

A huge number of South Asians live in Dubai. Most of them are from these four countries. And often, they are supposed to travel to and fro in a span of days or weeks. So the restrictions for them are relatively tighter since they are from a high-risk region.


You need a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code to enter Dubai. The test shouldn’t be taken more than 48 hours prior to your trip.


A rapid COVID-19 PCR test is also acceptable if it is conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.


Rules For People Travelling From The United Kingdom

So many British people have businesses running in Dubai. So a monthly visit isn’t a big deal for them. And not to mention a huge influx of tourists from Great Britain.


No matter in whatever category you fall, you need a negative COVID-19 PCR test. This test shouldn’t be taken more than 48 hours before the scheduled flight departure from the UK.


Likewise, the test must be a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT‑PCR) test. An RT-PCR negative test result certificate without a QR code and location will not be accepted.


Once again, antibody tests, self-test kits, and any NHS COVID-19 test certificate won’t be accepted. Your test samples must be collected by a certificated healthcare facility.


However, people with severe disabilities and children under 12 in your family are exempted from these requirements. The same is the case for UAE nationals who will take a COVID-19 PCR test upon reaching Dubai airport.


Rules for People Travelling From African Countries

The restrictions for African countries were so strict one time that Dubai had permanently banned non-nationals coming from these countries. Except for the UAE passport holders and nationals, nobody could enter the UAE – not even the vaccinated ones.


However, those restrictions have been relaxed relatively. But you still need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility. And of course, it should be conducted within 48 hours of departure.


Your certificate must be a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) test. Once again, people with disabilities or under 12 children are exempted from these requirements.


UAE nationals and 1st-degree nationals won’t go through a PCR test at their departure airport but at the Dubai airport on arrival.

People Who Will Take a PCR Test On Departure As Well As On Arrival

Because of the tough restrictions, if you are traveling from any of the below-mentioned countries, you will have to take a PCR test at both departure and arrival:


  • Afghanistan
  •  Argentina 
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  •  Bosnia
  •  Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Chile
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Egypt
  •  Ethiopia
  • Georgia Ghana
  • Guinea
  • India
  •  Iran
  • Iraq
  •  Ivory Coast
  •  Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  •  Liberia
  • Mauritania
  •  Morocco
  • Mozambique
  •  Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  •  Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  •  South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  •  Syria
  •  Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  •  Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  •  Vietnam
  • Zimbabwe


After getting a test for coronavirus, you will have to stay in the hotel for a while until your results come out. If you test positive, you will have to spend 10 days in quarantine. Otherwise, you will be allowed to proceed ahead with your plans.

Is it Safe to Travel Dubai in the Current Situation?

If you are vaccinated and not traveling from a high-risk region, it’s absolutely safe to travel to Dubai. The infection rates are quite low and if you don’t catch the virus along the way to Dubai, you have nothing to worry about. Just stay updated with the latest traveling rules to avoid any inconvenience during travel.

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