Last updated 27 May 2021
After being locked up in their homes for a long time, Emirati tourists are now gearing up to jet-set once again. Portugal, a destination popular especially for its dreamy beaches, is one such destination Emiratis have been waiting to fly to. But stiff restrictions still remain in place.
Can you visit Portugal right now? Keep reading to find out.
Can I travel from the UAE to Portugal?
Yes, but only for essential travel
As of 27 May, Portugal is allowing travellers only from Europe, Schengen area, Australia, China, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand.
Passengers from other countries—including the UAE—will be denied entry, except in the case of essential travel. This doesn’t apply to Portuguese nationals and foreign citizens holding a residence permit in Portugal.
“Essential travel” is defined as trips allowing the transit, entry into and departure from Portugal for:
- professional purposes
- family reunions
- health and humanitarian reasons
In short, you’ll be allowed to travel from the UAE to Portugal only if you’re travelling for any of the above-stated reasons, are a Portuguese national, or have a residence permit in Portugal.
Keep in mind the UAE authorities don’t allow the following categories to travel:
- Those with positive results
- Those over 70 years old
- Those with chronic diseases are advised not to travel
- Those with more than 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher temperature
- Those with symptoms of a respiratory disease
- Those suspected to have contracted COVID-19
All travellers entering Portugal must present a negative RT-PCR test certificate. The test should have been carried out within 72 hours before boarding time. Children below 2 years of age are exempted from this.
The test result should be in Portuguese, French, Spanish, English and Italian, not Arabic. Acceptable formats are paper and electronic, but not mobile text messages/SMS.
Those who have legal residence in Portugal and diplomatic personnel accredited in Portugal will be allowed to enter even if they don’t carry a negative test result. However, they’ll have to get tested at the airport on arrival, at their own expense.
Foreign passengers who embark without the test result will be refused entry.
Passengers travelling from the UAE need not quarantine in Portugal.
However, you’ll have to fill out the Passenger Locator Form for contact tracing purposes.
Travelling to the Azores and Madeira islands
To enter the Azores islands, you’ll need to carry an RT-PCR negative test result, without which you’ll be denied boarding. The test must be taken within 72 hours preceding departure.
If staying on the islands for more than 7 or 13 days, you must a second test on the 6th or 12th day, respectively.
Click here for more information about travelling to the Azores.
To be allowed into the Madeira archipelago, you must comply with one of the following options:
- Submit a negative test to COVID-19 performed within 72 hours prior to departure
- Present a medical document certifying that the holder is recovered from COVID-19 disease at the time of landing, issued within the last 90 days
- Present a vaccination certificate against COVID-19, respecting the period of activation of the immune system foreseen in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC)
- Perform a test on arrival and await the result in prophylactic isolation
- Perform voluntary isolation, for a period of 14 days, at home or in a hotel accommodation
Click here for more information about travelling to Madeira.
Flying out of the UAE
Besides the regulations enforced by Portugal, the UAE also has certain protocols for its travellers in place.
Before departing the UAE, Emiratis and expatriate residents must adhere to these conditions:
- apply for a travel request through the website of Federal Authority for Citizenship and Identity
- register in the Twajudi service prior to travel
- undergo a Covid-19 test before travel, provided the test result dates back to no more than 48 hours before the travel date. The traveller must display the test result at the UAE’s airports through the Al HOSN app. (This requirement depends on the country of destination)
- obtain international medical insurance covering the country of destination, that is Portugal
- fill the required individual health accountability form, which includes an agreement to undergo quarantine upon return to the UAE and not to go to destinations other than the ones applied to
- comply with preventive measures at the airports including wearing face masks, gloves, regular sanitisation of hands and maintaining physical distance
From Abu Dhabi
UAE nationals and expatriates need to do an RT-PCR test at any government-accredited medical facility within 96 hours before departure. Children under 12 and people with severe and moderate disabilities are exempt from RT-PCR testing.
To avoid having to take two tests, make sure to take the test 72 hours before boarding, so as to satisfy both the Emirati as well as Portuguese preconditions.
Dubai residents travelling out of the country need to get tested before departure only if it is required in the destination country. In this case, it is.
The Sharjah government requires those travelling internationally from the Emirate to present a negative RT-PCR test result, conducted no more than 96 hours before the date of travel, and have international health insurance with coverage in the destination country.
To avoid having to take two tests, make sure to take the test 72 hours before boarding, so as to satisfy both, Emirati as well as Portuguese preconditions.
Flight schedules from the UAE to Portugal
All three major airports of Portugal, Lisbon Portela Airport in the capital city, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, and Faro Airport in Faro, are now functional.
Emirates and Etihad both have scheduled flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, servicing different destinations in Portugal.
- To Lisbon: one daily flight, 4 days a week
- To Lisbon: multiple flights, every day
- To Faro: up to two daily flights, 2 days a week
- To Porto: up to two daily flights, six days a week
From Abu Dhabi
- To Lisbon: one daily flight, 6 days a week
- To Lisbon: multiple flights, every day
- To Faro: up to seven daily flights, every day
- To Porto: up to three daily flights, 3-4 days a week
- To Madeira: one daily flight, 2 days a week
- To the Azores: up to six daily flights, every day
Is it safe to travel to Portugal?
Yes, it is quite safe to travel to Portugal if you exercise precaution.
The vaccination program is progressing at an impressive rate, with 16% of the population fully vaccinated and 35% partially vaccinated through over 5.15 million doses.
Using masks and maintaining a safe distance of at least 2 metres is mandatory in Portugal. Restaurants are open till 10:30 pm with a maximum of 6 people per table in indoor spaces and 10 in outdoor spaces and terraces.