Updated 30 September 2021
Ranging from its famous landmark tourist attractions, the breathtaking desert landscapes, to its adventure activities, major theme parks and the most modern skyscrapers, the United Arab Emirates offers everything a traveller can ask for.
If you plan on vacationing in UAE and experience its hospitality and stunning scenery, here is the latest information regarding UAE tourism 2021, including entry requirements and guidelines.
Free Expo 2020 ticket from Wego
As Expo 2020 Dubai Authorized Ticket Reseller, Wego is adding value to your visit to the highly anticipated event. This October. Wego will be running a special campaign that turns your October UAE hotel reservation into a free ticket for Expo 2020 Dubai.
This offer is valid for travellers from any part of the world reserving their hotel stay through Wego. To claim your free ticket, simply do the following:
- book a minimum of a 2-night stay in any hotel in the UAE
- booking period must be in October
- stay period: October 2021 – March 2022
- must book using “Book with Wego.” Please tick the “Book on Wego” box as pictured below.
After completing your hotel booking, please email [email protected] and attach your reservation confirmation. Your single-entry Expo 2020 ticket will be issued within 24 hours from the time of booking and will be valid for the duration of the event. Please note that cancelling your reservation will result in the cancellation of your Expo 2020 ticket as well.
UAE is open for tourism
UAE is currently open for tourism; Vaccinated and unvaccinated people can visit the country following some restrictions and guidelines. The restrictions have been lifted for visitors who have been fully vaccinated with any WHO-approved vaccines. However, all the passengers will need a negative RT-PCR test result for entering UAE and they also have to go through a mandatory test on arrival to the country.
Places to visit
A place famous among tourists for offering the best city break accompanied with some relaxing beach time is the United Arab Emirates. Ranging from some of the globally renowned landmark tourist attractions, attractive beaches and deserts to being home to the world’s longest zipline, UAE is a genuinely suitable tourist spot for every category of visitors.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
When talking about UAE, you can’t not mention Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Apart from bearing the world record, Burj Khalifa is also renowned among tourists for its panoramic view of Dubai. A trip up Burj Khalifa’s observation deck is a must for every visitor to Dubai.
The Jebel Jais in Ras Al-Khaimah is a favourite spot for adventurous tourists. It’s home to the world’s longest zipline, the Jebel Jais Flight that reaches up to a speed of about 120 kilometres per hour. The Jebel Jais is also a favourite hiking spot for tourists or hikers.
Louvre, Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi is one of the most significant museums in the UAE. Home to a collection sourced from across the globe to some of the works by the most famous contemporary artists, Louvre displays the most sought-after artifacts that are enough to attract the most discerning of art lovers.
The beaches of UAE are famous among tourists looking for relaxing vacation in some of the most luxurious beach resorts away from city life.
If you want to spend your tour soaking up the dune scenery, enjoying adventurous desert activities, and staying in some of the most luxurious desert resorts, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras-Al-Khaimah are the best choices.
Apart from the desert day trip, some desert operators also offer overnight camping amidst the dune.
Guidelines for travellers to UAE
The United Arab Emirates is currently enforcing pandemic-related measures for its tourists. Please abide by the following safety measures for the duration of your stay in the UAE.
- It is mandatory to wear a facemask in public and follow social distancing requirements. The UAE authorities have stated that any violation of instructions and procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 will be treated as a crime punishable by law.
- If you plan to travel to the UAE, you should consult officially published guidelines and confirm requirements with your airline or travel provider.
- Visitors will have to prove they have been vaccinated or have recently tested negative through the country’s COVID-19 app, ALHOSN App, which displays an individual’s vaccination and testing history. The mobile app will show green if the person has been vaccinated or has tested negative.
- Individuals who have not been vaccinated will need to be tested every three days to maintain their green status. A fully vaccinated person would do so every 30 days.
- Attendance at live events and social activities, including weddings and bars, would be limited to those who could prove they had been vaccinated.
Things to observe
Aside from the pandemic-related guidelines, tourists may also need to observe the following:
- It’s illegal to photograph aircraft, military installations and certain government buildings. Avoid photographing people without their permission. Travellers should be aware of signs which indicate where photography is prohibited.
- Engaging in mapping activities, especially mapping that includes GPS equipment, without coordination with UAE authorities, may have the same consequences. (This does not apply to the use of publicly available online maps.)
- The flying of drones is prohibited in certain areas and may result in arrest and imprisonment. Individuals should not operate drones without prior approval from local authorities.
- It’s illegal to engage in religious proselytism, such as preaching, possessing, or distributing religious literature or material that contradicts or challenges Islamic teachings and values.
- Regardless of one’s blood alcohol content level, public drunkenness and driving under the influence are considered severe offences.
- Individuals may be arrested, fined, and/or deported for committing any of the following acts: making rude gestures, swearing, touching another person without their permission, and making derogatory statements about the UAE, the royal families, the local governments or other people.
- The UAE has strict laws regarding the use of the internet and social media. Individuals have been arrested and criminally convicted for posting information on social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) that local authorities determined was disturbing to the order of the UAE.
- The Emergency services number in UAE is 999.
- Visitors must carry an international driving permit to drive and rent a car in the UAE.
- Possession of prohibited items may result in imprisonment or deportation.
UAE entry requirements
The visitors must comply with the following special COVID-19 rules to be granted entry into the country.
Passengers who wish to receive the benefits provided to individuals vaccinated in the UAE can register their vaccination via the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship platform. This is required for registration in the Alhosn App
Anyone wishing to enter the UAE must present a negative result of the RT-PCR test. All travellers will be tested again on arrival. If the test result is positive, you must stay in isolation for as many days as prescribed by the emirate of your residence. If you violate home quarantine rules, you would be liable to a fine of AED 50,000.
Passengers above the age of 12 arriving from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem. Rep.), India, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Viet Nam or Zambia must have:
– a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 48 hours before departure of the last direct flight to the United Arab Emirates; and
– a printed negative COVID-19 rapid PCR test taken at most 6 hours before departure from the first embarkation point.
The test result must be in Arabic or English and be issued by an approved laboratory or a laboratory accredited by the departure country. The test result must also have a QR code. (Click here to find out who are exempted from following this rule).
Passengers arriving at Dubai (DXB):
- are subject to medical screening, and
- must download and register the COVID-19 DXB Smart App.
Passengers travelling as tourists arriving at Dubai (DXB) or Sharjah (SHJ) must have health insurance.
PCR test on arrival
Passengers entering Dubai (DXB) or Al Maktoum (DWC) from the following countries are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival:
Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova (Rep.), Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russian Fed., Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Zambia or Zimbabwe and Nationals of United Arab Emirates.
Some residents might be tested on arrival at Dubai’s airport. If you must take another test on arrival, you must remain in quarantine at your residence until you receive the test result. If the test result is positive, you must stay in isolation and follow the instructions of the Dubai Health Authority. If the test result is negative, you do not need to quarantine yourself.
If you are a citizen of the UAE, you are exempt from the PCR test before departure, regardless of the city or country you are coming from. However, you will be tested on arrival in Dubai.
Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah
Passengers entering Ras Al Khaimah (RKT), Sharjah (SHJ) must have a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before the last direct flight to the United Arab Emirates. The test result must be in Arabic or English and must be issued by an approved laboratory or a laboratory accredited by the departure country.
Passengers arriving at Sharjah (SHJ) and Ras Al Khaimah (RKT) must download the ALHOSN App.
Passengers travelling to Sharjah (SHJ) must have health insurance.
PCR test on arrival
Passengers entering Ras Al Khaimah (RKT) or Sharjah (SHJ) are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival.
Residents and visitors must take an RT-PCR test upon arrival at Sharjah’s airport and quarantine themselves until they receive the results. If the impact is positive, you must stay in isolation for 14 days and follow the Ministry of Health and Prevention instructions.
Passengers entering Abu Dhabi (AUH) must register before departure here. This will generate a QR code which must be presented before departure and upon arrival. This does not apply to:
- nationals of United Arab Emirates;
- passengers entering Abu Dhabi for the World Policy Conference.
Residents of United Arab Emirates entering Abu Dhabi (AUH) must have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca (SK Bioscience), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Covishield, Moderna (Spikevax), Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Sinopharm or Sinovac at least 14 days before departure. They must update the certificate here and obtain a QR code before arrival.
PCR test on arrival
Passengers entering Abu Dhabi (AUH) are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival.
The following quarantine guidelines will be applied to UAE citizens, residents and tourists arriving at Abu Dhabi
Vaccinated travellers arriving from other countries must take an RT-PCR test on arrival and again on day 4 and day 8 if staying in the emirate. They are not required to quarantine themselves.
Unvaccinated travellers arriving from ‘green’ countries must take an RT-PCR test on arrival and again on day 6 and day 12 from arrival. They are not required to quarantine themselves.
Unvaccinated travellers arriving from other countries must take an RT-PCR test on arrival, quarantine for 10 days and take another PCR test on day 9.