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Updated 20 October 2021

A new set of rules and guidelines have been introduced by the health authorities as a result of the easing of restrictions and increased mobility in the UAE.  

Here’s everything you need to know regarding the latest COVID rules in the UAE.

Safety protocols for social events

On 19 October 2021, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) revised the guidelines for organising parties, weddings, funerals and other gatherings at home which are aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. 

Dr Taher Al Amiri, the spokesperson of NCEMA, has also announced that capacity at such events should be capped at 80 per cent, provided that the total attendance does not exceed 60 people. This is in addition to a maximum of 10 people to provide hospitality services during the events.

Common preventive and precautionary measures for social occasions

  1. People must maintain a distance of no less than two metres between each other.
  2. All attendees should’ve completed 14 days after receiving their vaccinations, and follow protocols depending on the type of vaccine they have taken.
  3. All attendees must present a negative PCR test result no later than 48 hours prior to the date of the event.
  4. Greetings are advised to be given without handshakes or hugs.
  5. Social distancing norms of one-and-a-half metres must be applied at all times.
  6. Only a maximum of 10 people is allowed to be seated at a table.
  7. Advise those suffering from respiratory illnesses or fever to avoid the events.

The new protocols also listed a number of preventive measures that need to be followed to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

  1. Organisers must ensure the following safety checks are held at events:
  2. Temperature checks at entry points
  3. Masks to be worn at all times
  4. Event venues to be continuously sanitised and disinfected
  5. Sanitisation tools to be readily available for all in attendance
  6. Entry processes to be well organised; there cannot be any crowding at the entrances.
  7. Barricades to be used at all entry and exit points.



The new precautionary measures now effective in Dubai include:

  • To enter a federal government department, unvaccinated people must present a negative PCR test result received within 48 hours.
  • Live entertainment has resumed at restaurants, cafes and shopping malls in Dubai for a trial period of one month after it had been halted for several months.
  • Hotels have returned to full occupancy, while entertainment venues have capacity limits of 70 per cent (up from 50 per cent)
  • Weddings can be held with up to 100 people at venues and hotels but all staff and guests must be vaccinated
  • Restaurants and cafes can operate at 80 per cent capacity and can remain open until 3am
  • The number of people who can sit at one table is 10 for restaurants and six at cafes
  • Private gatherings held in homes, including weddings, are capped at 30 guests
  • Concerts, sports spectator events and social and institutional events are permitted, providing the audience, participants and staff are vaccinated against Covid-19
  • The maximum attendance for large public events that require permits is 1,500 for indoors and 2,500 for outdoors
  • Face masks are mandatory in public and in private gatherings and people are required to maintain physical distance from others
  • Women’s prayer halls in Dubai reopened on June 7 after closing in March 2020.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has announced fresh COVID-19 related rules and measures. Limitations have been introduced to the capacities of commercial, economic and tourism activities. Here’s what you need to know:

  • A negative Covid-19 test is no longer required to enter Abu Dhabi from other emirates
  • green pass system is in place requiring individuals to be vaccinated and regularly tested to access many public places
  • Face masks are no longer required at all times and can be removed in certain areas and under specific circumstances
  • Quarantine is removed for vaccinated people travelling to Abu Dhabi, as well as for unvaccinated individuals arriving from a green list country. They must instead undergo PCR tests, without quarantine
  • Electronic wristbands, used to monitor home quarantine, are no longer in use for international travellers or people who have come into contact with positive Covid-19 cases. However, they are still required for individuals who test positive for the coronavirus
  • Travellers to Abu Dhabi must register with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) before boarding flights
  • Government entities in Abu Dhabi returned to 100 per cent office capacity. Vaccinated employees and those exempted must show green status on the Al Hosn app and follow government testing requirements. Unvaccinated employees must test every seven days
  • Capacity limits have increased at gyms, shops, cafe’s, restaurants, malls, schools, museums, resorts and theme parks
  • Up to 10 people can sit together at a cafe or restaurant, up from four. Previously, family members could sit together with no limit on numbers
  • Wedding halls and other events can operate at 60 per cent capacity, or up to a maximum of 300 people, provided those attending wear face masks
  • Malls and shopping centres are limited to 80 per cent capacity, up from 40 per cent
  • Cinemas, recreational facilities, galleries and museums can operate at 80 per cent capacity, up from 30 per cent
  • Operating capacity for live events is set at 60 per cent, provided that social distancing, mask-wearing and regular sanitisation guidelines are observed
  • To attend a live event, individuals must have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine with the second dose having been taken within the previous six months. For senior citizens and people with chronic diseases, their second dose should have been received within the previous three months. All attendees should also present a negative PCR test received within 48 hours of the live event
  • Public transportation can operate at 75 per cent capacity, up from 50 per cent. Unvaccinated people must present a negative PCR test result, received within 48 hours, to enter a federal government department
  • People who have come into contact with a positive Covid-19 case must undergo home quarantine but do not require an electronic wristband
  • Pfizer-BioNTech is available to unvaccinated Emiratis and residents, while a booster shot is available to people vaccinated with Sinopharm. A full course of Pfizer-BioNTech is available to people vaccinated with Sinopharm if they can provide a medical note to justify the second dose
  • Gyms, as well as private beaches and swimming pools, cannot be more than half full



The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) has introduced new measures with the aim of combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the city. According to SEDD officials, the following measures will be put into immediate effect: 

  • The operating capacity of public transport has been reduced to 50 per cent, while for commercial centres, it has been capped at 60 per cent.
  • Cinemas and other entertainment activities have been asked to operate at a capacity of 50 per cent.
  • Parks and beaches will be opened with 70 per cent operating capacity.
  • Shopping centres, malls operate at 60% of capacity.
  • Swimming pools and private beaches in hotels are allowed to function at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Tables at venues can seat four people at the most.
  • In addition to these measures, the authorities have postponed all musical concerts, which can be extended in accordance with the pandemic situation in the city.
  • Restaurants and eateries must adhere to social distancing measures on their premises, ensuring that no more than four people are sitting at one table.
  • Attendees of social events held at homes in Sharjah must not exceed 50 people, while those attending events at halls must not exceed 100 people.
  • A social distance of four metres must be maintained between persons.
  • Wedding tents can also be organised with a capacity of no more than 200 people. Organisers must ensure that all Covid precautionary measures are applied and social distancing is observed.
  • At social events, only half the capacity of each table will be permitted.
  • Only vaccinated guests or those presenting a green pass on the AlHosn application are permitted to attend such events.
  • The duration of ceremonies should not exceed the deadline of four hours.
  • People with chronic diseases, the elderly and anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness is advised to not attend social events.
  • Authorities have called on the public to adhere to preventive measures. They also urged people to avoid physical greetings in order to preserve their safety.



Residents in Ajman will be required to follow the new COVID-19 guidelines:

  • Cafes, snack shops, and restaurants across the emirate will have to close by 12 am each day.
  • In addition, customer capacity at these spaces has been reduced to 50 per cent.


Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain’s Local Emergency Crisis & Disasters Management Team has introduced stricter restrictions and precautionary measures to curb Covid-19 infection spread. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hotels can function at 100% capacity.
  • Shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues can run at 80% capacity.
  • Different forms of public transport can operate at 75% capacity.
  • Wedding halls and events halls can go up to 60%, given that the total number does not surpass 300 people in wedding halls.
  • The committee has asked residents to strictly adhere to preventive measures, maintain two meters of physical distancing, and wear masks.
  • Inspection campaigns will be increased to ensure adherence to protocols. Participation at all events, exhibitions, activities and events, including sports, cultural, social and artistic, is limited to those who have received the vaccine.


Ras Al Khaimah

In order to curb the spread of coronavirus infection in the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah has imposed tough measures.

  • Entertainment venues, cinemas, fitness centres, gyms, pools and private beaches at hotels will now operate at a maximum capacity of 50%.
  • Public beaches and parks must operate at 70% and shopping malls at 60%.
  • Family gatherings and community events will be limited to 10 people and funerals to 20 people.
  • Restaurants and cafes must maintain a 2-metre distance between tables, with a maximum of 4 people allowed sitting together, unless they are of the same family.
  • The management team also underlined and reminded the public to keep a distance of two-metre at all times from others and to keep following the precautionary and preventive measures at all times.
  • Attendance of public events is reserved for fully vaccinated Emiratis.