This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.
Updated 3 October 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 have been lifted. Inbound and outbound flights now continue as per their schedules.
Travel ban on unvaccinated UAE residents lifted
The UAE has now allowed 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 ban check
Before you travel to the UAE, it is advisable to check or solve any issues that hinder your entry at the airport immigration counters. For example, if you are subject to a UAE travel ban due to financial cases or if you are requested by the Public Prosecution due to any claims.
In UAE, there are three ways that you can check the status of your travel ban:
- Visit the Dubai Police station in person.
- Make a phone call or enquire through mail. The call center operator will require your passport number in addition to other information. Residents can call the Amer center in Dubai at 800-5111, which is a toll-free number. Callers from abroad can do so at +971-4-313-9999. You can also drop a mail enquiry: @dubaipolice.gov.ae
- Online travel ban check. Below is the step by step on how to check your travel ban online:
- Prepare your Emirates ID.
- Visit the official website of Dubai Police or download the Dubai Police app on your Android or iOS
- Browse through ‘Individual Services’
- Select ‘Criminal Status of Financial Cases’
- Enter your full name and Emirates ID number
- If you have any travel ban, you will get a message saying that you will need to bring your Emirates ID, copy of your passport, and authority letter to the Dubai Police station near you.
If you have an Abu Dhabi residency visa and an ID number, you can use the Estafser e-service which enables residents of Abu Dhabi to check whether they have any claims against them. In case you have a visa from one of the other five emirates, or no longer have an ID number, you will need to contact the General Directorate of Residents and Foreigner Affairs.
To know more about checking on your travel ban status in UAE, visit our article on UAE Travel Ban Check 2022: How to Check Your Travel Ban Status in UAE.
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.
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.
UAE has so far confirmed a total number of 16 Monkeypox infections in the country and 2 recoveries from the virus. It has been reported that the risk of getting infected or the risk of an outbreak is minimal as transmission requires close contact with the infected person or the person’s contaminated object.
The Health Ministry of the UAE has put in place precise mechanisms for diagnosing suspected patients. The technical advisory team for pandemic control has also prepared a comprehensive guide for surveillance, early detection of the disease, management of clinically infected patients, and precautionary measures.
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.
Apart from this, here are the things that you can do to prevent the spread of Monkeypox:
- Keep your hands clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- Prevent animal-to-human transmission
- Avoid any contact with wild animals
- Cook meat properly
- Avoid any objects that have been in contact with a sick animal
- Prevent human to human transmission
- Avoid contact with any person who has a rash
- Avoid contact with any object that has been in contact with a sick person
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.