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Residence visa holders departing from Dubai

Passengers will need to do COVID-19 PCR tests only if it is mandated by the country they are travelling to.

  • If you travel out of Dubai and return, the process above will apply to your return journey.
  • Dubai residents do not need Dubai government approval to leave Dubai.
  • Please check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. The travel regulations change frequently. You may need to take a COVID-19 PCR test before you depart or another particular type of COVID-19 test specified by your destination.
  • This is a list of authorised COVID-19 test laboratories in Dubai where you can get tested before you travel to your destination.
Rapid COVID-19 testing at Dubai International airport for flights to China

All passengers, except children under the age of 1, who are travelling to China must have a negative rapid COVID-19 test certificate before travel. You must report to the check-in counter 5 hours before your flight and take this test at Dubai International airport at Emirates Terminal 3 departure area, next to Costa. For further information please refer to the travel requirements for China.

Special COVID-19 PCR test rates for Emirates passengers

Emirates has expanded its medical partnerships to offer all passengers exclusive home or office COVID-19 PCR testing rates at the following centres:

  • Al Tadawi Medical Centre
    • Located at Al Masood building, Airport Road, Port Saeed area, Deira.
    • The test costs AED 130 per person. Home or office testing within Dubai costs AED 240 per person. Test results will be available within 24 hours.
  • Prime Medical Centres
    • Locations in Dubai:
      • Al Qusais Branch, Damascus Street
      • Premier Diagnostic and Medical Center, Salah Al Din Street 
      • Prime Corp Medical Center, Salah Al Din Street, Deira
      • Sheikh Zayed Branch, Sheikh Zayed Street, near Noor Islamic Bank
      • Prime Specialist Medical Center Sharjah Branch, King Faisal St, Al Majaz
      • Ajman Branch, Grand Mall, Sheikh Khalifa St
    • The test costs AED 150 per person. Home or office testing within Dubai for a minimum of two passengers is also available at AED 240 per person. Test results will be available within 24 hours.

Residence visa holders travelling to Dubai

Before you travel

All UAE residents can now travel to Dubai without GDRFA or ICA approval except when travelling from the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • Sudan

Requirements for passengers from these countries and Ethiopia:

  • UAE Residence Visa holders must have GDRFA or ICA approval to enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This does not apply to passengers who have other visas, such as newly issued residence or employment visas, short stay or long stay visa, holders of 10 year UAE Golden visa, Investor or Partner visa, visit visa or visa on arrival. This does not apply to UAE Residence Visa holders travelling from Ethiopia.
  • Passengers arriving from the countries above must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted within 48 hours, validity should be calculated from time the sample was collected, prior to departure from an approved health facility.
  • Passengers must also present a Rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.

Passengers travelling from other countries must have a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

COVID-19 PCR test exemptions:

  • All UAE nationals returning to Dubai from any country are exempted from the pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test requirements but must take a PCR test on arrival. 
  • Non-UAE national 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 PCR test on arrival.
  • Children below 12 years old and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities

Requirements for all passengers arriving in Dubai

All passengers travelling to Dubai from any point of origin (GCC countries included) must hold a negative COVID 19 RT-PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, except for travel from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia (for which specific requirements are stated above).

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

COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificates must be issued by an authorised facility in the passenger's departure country. Certificates that have already been presented for travel to another destination can't be used for re-entry even if they are still within the validity period.

For passengers arriving from the following countries, it is mandatory that the COVID-19 RT-PCR report includes a QR code linked to the original report for verification purposes. The QR code must be presented at check-in and to representatives of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) upon arrival in Dubai airports: Indonesia, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Indian Nationals with a normal passport who are travelling to or from India via Dubai can obtain a visa on arrival in Dubai for a maximum stay of 14 days provided they:

  • have a visitor visa or a green card issued by the Unites States, or
  • a residence visa issued by the United Kingdom or European Union

The visa issued by United States, United Kingdom or European Union has to be valid for a minimum of 6 months

Test on arrival

Passengers arriving in Dubai from the following countries will be required to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International airport:

Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Test exemptions:

  • UAE nationals are exempt from taking a COVID-19 PCR test before departing for Dubai. They must be tested on arrival in Dubai, irrespective if they are holding a valid negative COVID-19 RT-PCR certificate from the point of origin.
    This is also applicable for:
    • Passengers accompanying a 1st degree UAE nationals' relative or domestic workers
    • Domestic workers escorting a UAE national sponsor during travel.
  • Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from taking a COVID-19 RT-PCR test.
    • 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.
  • There may be specific test exemptions in your country of origin and final destination. Please check the requirements before you travel.

COVID-19 testing laboratories:

  • The UAE government has specified designated laboratories. You can either use the recommended laboratories in the list or any trusted and certified laboratories in your country of origin to get your COVID-19 RT-PCR test.
  • If you are flying from India, Pakistan, Nigeria or Bangladesh , you must get your certificate from one of the labs listed in the designated laboratories document to be accepted on the flight.

When you arrive

  • You may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your residence until you receive the test result.
  • If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.
  • You must also download the COVID19 – DXB Smart App iOS-Android

Rules for travel from France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland

Effective 31 October 2021 and until further notice, all passengers travelling to Dubai from France, Germany, Spain, or Switzerland will be accepted for travel if they meet the following conditions:

  • Present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure

or

  • Present a vaccination certificate for vaccination administered in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland or the United Arab Emirates

The vaccination certificate(s) must reflect that the passenger has completed the required doses of a vaccine approved by the WHO and accepted by France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland or the United Arab Emirates.

Rules for travel from the United Kingdom

All passengers travelling to Dubai from the UK must hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and the certificate must be a Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. Note that NHS Covid Test certificates are not accepted for travel from the United Kingdom.

Please refer to the “Test exemptions” section for the list of exceptions.

Residence visa holders transiting through Dubai

All transit passengers must complete all the requirements of their final destination.
 
Transit passengers from the following countries must present a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure: 
  • Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa
Transit passengers from these countries with a Dubai Connect booking and planning to stopover in Dubai must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted within 48 hours of the time the sample was taken at an approved health facility. Passengers must also present a Rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.
 
Transit passengers from Ethiopia must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
 
All other transit passengers are not required to present this certificate unless it is mandated by their final destination.

Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Effective 19 September 2021, fully vaccinated UAE citizens, residents and tourists, as documented on the Al Hosn App, will no longer be required to test for COVID-19 at the border before entering Abu Dhabi. To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received two doses of the same vaccine at least 28 days before departure.

Please note that although people entering Abu Dhabi from Dubai no longer need to show a test result, you will still be required to have a 'green status' on the Al Hosn app to enter many public places. People who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus remain green as long as they have a COVID 19 PCR test once every 30 days. People who are unvaccinated must be tested every three days to remain green.

More information is available here.

Find out where to get tested in Dubai before you enter Abu Dhabi.

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