This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate. 

Reviewed 12 August 2021

With the exception of some countries as outlined in its flight suspension list, the UAE is welcoming visitors from all over the world. While many international travellers set their sights on UAE as their destination, many also proceed to make their way to other international destinations via the UAE.

For those whose itinerary includes the UAE as a pit stop, here are the latest UAE transit rules you need to know.

Can I transit in the UAE now? 

Yes, if you’re a traveller normally permitted to enter the UAE.

All passengers who have travelled from or transited through the following countries in the last 14 days will not be accepted for travel to or transit through from any other point except for returning UAE nationals:

  • Bangladesh 
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Liberia
  • Namibia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

 

Are there any required documents?

A transit visa is required if you are not one of the nationalities that are eligible for a visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE. 

A 30 and 90-day visa on arrival is available for citizens of select countries. Advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE are not required for travellers in this group and they are also eligible for a 10-day grace period for an extension.

For citizens of GCC countries, a visa-free entry is possible. They also are not required other types of permits or sponsorships by a national or resident in the UAE. 

 

How much is the UAE transit visa?

The UAE issues two types of transit visas: one for 48 hours which is free of charge, and another for 96 hours for AED 50. Transit visas must be processed and approved before entering the UAE and are not extendable.

 

How do I get the UAE transit visa?

Transit visas are obtained by the UAE-based airline you are travelling with. The airline typically arranges your transit visa prior to your journey. If your trip is organized by a travel agency, the travel agent will arrange for your transit visa to be issued.

In order for the airline or travel agent to obtain your travel visa, the following documents are required.

48-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

96-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

 

Do I need to get tested while transiting in the UAE?

Transiting in Dubai

As per the Emirates travel requirements page, depending on where you depart from, you may need to provide a negative PCR test prior to departure and take another test upon arrival.

All passengers who have started their journey in Afghanistan or Indonesia and are transiting through Dubai must have a negative COVID‑19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate for a test taken no more than 48 hours before departure. The test certificate must include a QR code.

Passengers transiting through Dubai from the following countries are required to present a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, as well as to follow any requirements mandated by their final destination.

Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe

The certificate must be a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Other test certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai. Travellers must bring an official, printed certificate in English or Arabic to check-in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. PCR certificates in other languages as required by the final destination are acceptable if they can be validated at the originating station.

Passengers from all other countries do not need a COVID‑19 PCR test to transit in Dubai unless it’s required by their final destination. 

UAE nationals are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 PCR test before departing to Dubai. They will be tested on arrival in Dubai. Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from taking a COVID‑19 PCR test.

Transiting in Abu Dhabi

As per Etihad Airways’ official website, when you land, you’ll have a COVID-19 PCR test in Abu Dhabi airport. Furthermore, you need to have a COVID-19 PCR test before you fly to Abu Dhabi, even if you are just transiting. Visit etihad.com/destinationguide and enter your final destination to find out where and when to take your test.