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Updated 23 August 2021

The UAE, one of the favourite destinations of travellers, has been partially open for a while now, thanks in part to the successful vaccination drive and vigilant efforts by all parties involved. Thus, it comes as no surprise that UAE is imposing strict vaccination requirements to partner countries on their vaccine bubble and green list arrangements.

This vaccine entry requirement has now been extended to several banned countries, namely India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. Certain visitors from these countries are now allowed in, provided they have been fully vaccinated either in the UAE or in their country of residence.

So, what are the vaccines approved for travel to the UAE? Find out below.

List of approved vaccines in the UAE

Travellers can enter Dubai and the UAE, and enjoy quarantine relaxation only if they have received a vaccine approved by the UAE authorities. So far, the following four vaccines have got the nod in the Emirates:

  • Sinopharm
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca, i.e Covishield
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Sputnik V
  • Moderna

We’ll update this list as and when the country authorizes more vaccines.

Note that the Dubai Health Authority has clarified that Covishield will be accepted as “Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and Covishield are the same vaccine”.

Covaxin will be conditionally accepted only for Indian travellers with valid residency permits.

 

Which vaccinated travellers can travel to the UAE now?

Visitors from banned countries

Dubai, which had previously barred all passengers from the COVID-19 hotspots of India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uganda has now eased its restrictions for vaccinated travellers, provided they have obtained pre-entry approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA)and, if they’re residing in Dubai, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

Only passengers with a valid UAE residence visa who have been fully vaccinated with a UAE-approved vaccine in either UAE or in their country of residence are permitted to return to the UAE.

 

India

Travellers from India with valid UAE residence visas must have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in India. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel.

They must also hold a printed negative result from a PCR test taken in a lab authorised by the government of India complete with a QR code. The test must be taken no later than 48 hours from the time of departure. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

Nepal

Travellers from Nepal with valid UAE residence visas must have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in Nepal. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel.

They must also hold a negative result from a PCR test complete with a QR code. The test must be taken no later than 48 hours from the time of departure. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

Nigeria

Travellers from Nigeria with valid UAE residence visas must first obtain and present a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate complete with a QR code from one of the authorized laboratories in Nigeria within 48 hours from the time of departure.

They must also have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in Nigeria with the second vaccine dose administered at least 14 days before travel. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

Pakistan

Travellers from Pakistan with valid UAE residence visas must have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in Pakistan. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel.

They must also hold a printed negative result from a PCR test taken in a Pakistan Government Approved Lab complete with a QR code. The test must be taken no later than 48 hours from the time of departure. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

Sri Lanka

Travellers from Sri Lanka with valid UAE residence visas must have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in Sri Lanka. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel.

They must also hold a negative result from a PCR test complete with a QR code. The test must be taken no later than 48 hours from the time of departure. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

Uganda

Travellers from Uganda with valid UAE residence visas must have already been fully vaccinated in the UAE or in Uganda. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel.

They must also hold a negative result from a PCR test taken at an approved facility complete with a QR code. The test must be taken no later than 48 hours from the time of departure. Additionally, travellers must have obtained prior approval from the ICA. If they reside in Dubai, they will also need another pre-entry approval from GDRFA.

Rapid COVID tests will also be conducted prior to boarding the flight and upon arrival in the UAE.

 

Visitors from green list countries to Abu Dhabi

Vaccinated travellers from Abu Dhabi green list countries, including UAE citizens and residents of Abu Dhabi, who have received the second dose of vaccine at least 28 days prior, will have to quarantine only for 5 days now instead of 10 on coming to Abu Dhabi. (They’ll still have to take a test on arrival in the capital city.)

The vaccine reports must be documented on the AlHosn app.

 

Visitors from UAE vaccine bubble countries

The UAE has set up vaccine bubbles with different countries, facilitating convenient quarantine-free travel between the countries for vaccinated individuals. In the case of passengers from these countries, the UAE will be accepting vaccines approved by the countries respectively on the basis of applications or certificates issued by their health authorities.

Accordingly, these are the vaccines accepted by the Emirati authorities:

  • Bahrain: Sinopharm, Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sputnik V
  • Kuwait: Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna
  • Greece: Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna
  • Seychelles: Pfizer/BioNTech, Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V
  • Serbia: Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V