This page was updated on 10 January 2023
Table of Contents
Is the UAE open for visitors?
While the travel rules and requirements vary slightly among the individual emirates, the UAE is generally open to international visitors.
Can tourists travel to the UAE?
The UAE is open for tourist visa applications for travellers from essentially all countries. As the daily infections continue to decline and COVID-19 deaths remain virtually zero, the UAE has eased most COVID-19 restrictions in the country.
However, in the light o the United Arab Emirates Embassy in China recently announced that citizens and travellers leaving China for the UAE must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before their departure.
Can residents return to the UAE?
Yes, they can. As confirmed by the flag carriers of the UAE, the GDRFA or ICA approval is no longer required by the UAE residents travelling to the UAE. Therefore, UAE residents from all over the globe can now travel to the UAE without pre-travel or registration on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP/ICA) portal.
As per the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), Emirati and GCC citizens can enter the UAE using their ID cards; they no longer need to present their passports on arrival.
What are the UAE’s vaccine requirements?
The UAE government does not require international arrivals to have been fully vaccinated for entry. However, non or partially-vaccinated travellers may be denied entry to public places in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other emirates.
UAE-approved vaccines are as follows:
- Sinopharm (Beijing)
- Sputnik V
- Sputnik Light
- Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (CHO Cell)
What are the UAE’s testing and quarantine requirements?
For travellers from China
The United Arab Emirates Embassy in China recently announced that citizens and travellers leaving China for the UAE must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before their departure.
Moreover, the UAE now expects travellers from China to present a health declaration upon arrival by filling out a form provided at the Chinese customs port.
For travellers from other countries
You don’t need to take a test before you fly to Abu Dhabi, irrespective of your vaccination status.
At the airport
You can pay to take an optional PCR test after baggage collection at Abu Dhabi airport – this costs AED 40. It takes up to two hours to receive your results.
The entry rules of Sharjah are as follows:
- Arrival passengers who are fully vaccinated with any one of the approved WHO vaccines should hold valid vaccination certificates with a QR code.
- Arrival passengers who are not vaccinated should hold a negative PCR test report with a QR code taken within 48 hours before travelling.
- Passengers who are below 12 years are exempted.
Transiting to the UAE
All travellers transiting in Dubai are not required to present a COVID-19 PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by their final destination.
You do not need a UAE transit visa if you are staying in the airport for four hours or less. When you have more than four hours to spare at the airport, the best thing to do is to get a transit visa and explore Abu Dhabi city and its surroundings.
Travelling within the UAE
Entry to Abu Dhabi
All requirements to enter the emirate of Abu Dhabi from within the UAE have been removed.
This includes the removal of EDE scanners and requirements for the Al Hosn green pass. Almost all Covid-19 restrictions in Abu Dhabi have been lifted, meaning green status on the Al Hosn app and negative PCR tests are no longer required to enter Abu Dhabi attractions.
General requirements in the UAE
Recently, the UAE government has lifted most of the COVID-19 requirements for visitors and residents. Mask-wearing regulations have been further relaxed. Masks are not required in any open or closed institutions, including mosques and houses of worship, according to health officials. In healthcare facilities and centres for individuals with determination, masks must be worn. At mosques and other places of worship, using a personal mat for prayer will be optional.