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Updated 23 May 2022

With changes to travel restrictions occurring frequently as the pandemic ebbs and flows around the world, keeping tabs on the latest flight suspensions and bans can get quite challenging. 

Following a significant decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and the UAE’s cautious recovery from the pandemic, the travel ban implemented by the UAE in certain countries due to the heavily mutated variant of concern – Omicron, has now been lifted. Keep reading to know more about the travel restrictions prevalent in the UAE.

UAE travel ban update

As per the new directives, entry restrictions for arrivals from the 12 previously banned African nations has been lifted with effect from 29 January 2022, at 2:30 p.m. local time. Inbound and outbound flights will continue as per their schedules.

UAE Lifts Entry Restrictions for Travellers From 12 African Countries

 

Travel ban on unvaccinated UAE residents lifted

Effective 19 April 2022, the UAE will allow unvaccinated UAE residents to travel abroad.

The residents must present a negative result from a PCR test taken within 48 hours of travel. Additionally, the travellers must also complete travel forms in the Al Hosn app to turn their application status green.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has also highlighted the importance of contacting the country’s diplomatic missions in other countries in case of a suspected infection, as well as of using the Tawajudi service, to ensure the safety of Emirati citizens during their travels under all emergency circumstances.

 

UAE travel restrictions on other countries

Travellers departing to Dubai from all countries (GCC included) must have any one of the following:

  • A valid vaccination certificate reflecting that the passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or the UAE, and should include a QR code system; or
  • A negative COVID 19 PCR test report that was issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection and issued by an approved health centre, with a QR code system; or
  • A valid medical certificate (issued by the relevant authorities) stating that the passenger has recovered from COVID-19 within a period of 1 month from the date of recovery to the date of arrival, with a QR code system.

Travellers may need to take another COVID 19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International Airport. If the test result is positive, they will be required to undergo quarantine and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines. They must also download the COVID‑19 – DXB Smart App for iOS or Android. 

Please note that printed or digital PCR test certificates or vaccination certificates are accepted in English or Arabic and must include a QR code. However, SMS certificates are not accepted.

Additionally, the COVID‑19 PCR test or vaccination certificates in other languages are acceptable if they can be validated at the departure point. COVID‑19 vaccination certificates without a QR code can be accepted for travel to Dubai as long as the vaccination certificate is issued by test centres or organizations recognized and approved by the national health authorities of the country.

Exemptions

Please note that UAE nationals arriving from all countries to Dubai are NOT required to present any PCR or vaccination certificate. However, there will be random PCR testing on arrival in Dubai.

Travellers under the age of 16 who are not vaccinated will NOT be required to take a PCR test on arrival.

An exemption from this requirement is also extended to the below categories of passengers travelling to Dubai from all destinations:

  • First degree relatives of a UAE national travelling on the same flight
  • Domestic workers travelling with a UAE national sponsor

Furthermore, the following categories are also exempt from PCR test and vaccination requirements:

  • Children below 12 years old.
  • Passengers with moderate to severe disabilities:
    • moderate or severe disability includes neurological disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities. For example, Acute spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Ataxia, Autism spectrum, Bell’s palsy, Brain tumours, Cerebral aneurysm, Cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy and seizures.
    • all other passengers, including those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or physically challenged must hold a negative COVID‑19 RT PCR test certificate as per the requirements.

 

Monkeypox travel advisory

Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease currently being transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal or with material contaminated with the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the likelihood of its spread from Europe globally is high.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has been closely monitoring any suspected cases. The ministry has also issued a circular to hospitals and healthcare centers to report suspected cases to the concerned authorities.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will adopt the following measures to promote the early detection of the monkeypox disease:

  • Performing the required RT-PCR test or gene sequencing to trace the source of infection.
  • Reporting of the lab-confirmed cases to the preventive medicine section immediately.
  • Strictly isolate cases in health care facilities and follow all household contacts and other close partners to timely detect secondary issues and prevent further spread.

 

PCR test exemptions

Exemptions to all the PCR test requirements mentioned below apply for:

  • All UAE nationals returning to Dubai from any country are exempted from the pre-departure COVID‑19 PCR test requirements but must take a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival.
  • Non-UAE nationals accompanying a first-degree UAE national family member and domestic workers accompanying a UAE national sponsor are also exempted from the pre-departure COVID‑19 PCR test requirements but must take a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival.
  • Children below 12 years old.
  • Passengers with moderate to severe disabilities:
    • Moderate or severe disability includes neurological disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities. For example: Acute spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Ataxia, Autism spectrum, Bell’s palsy, Brain tumours, Cerebral aneurysm, Cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy and seizures.
    • All other passengers, including those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or physically challenged must hold a negative COVID‑19 RT PCR test certificate as per the requirements.