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Dubai residents travelling to Dubai

Before you book

Check your eligibility:

Apply for approval to return:

  • If you hold a Dubai residence visa and you are flying back to Dubai, you must have return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This only applies to Dubai visas – all other UAE residence visa holders do not have to apply.
  • Apply when you book your flight with us online or through our call centre or on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website.
  • During the GDRFA application process, you will be asked to enter your Resident File Number. This number is on your visa under File. 
  • Check the GDRFA website to see the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number. If the application can’t be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. There is no need to follow up on your status with our call centre or GDRFA.
  • You need your GDRFA Application Number to complete your flight booking either online or through our call centre.
  • GDRFA approval is only for Dubai residence visa holders. If you have a residence visa from another emirate, you do not need ICA or GDRFA approval to travel to Dubai.

Before you travel

Take a COVID-19 PCR test:

  • All passengers travelling to Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate to be accepted on the flight.
  • The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure.
  • The certificate must be for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Other test certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai.
  • Bring an official, printed certificate to check-in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. Without a printed negative test certificate, you will not be accepted on the flight.

Test exemptions:

  • Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from this test.

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 PCR test.
  • If you are flying from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, you must get your certificate from one of the labs listed in the designated laboratories document to be accepted on the flight.

At check-in

  • All travellers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete this health declaration form and give it to the staff at check-in. You can download it now and bring it to the airport with you, or you can complete it at check-in.

During your flight

  • You will also need to complete the quarantine undertaking form given to you on board if Dubai is your final destination. Hand this form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.

When you arrive

  • Give your quarantine undertaking form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.
  • 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

Dubai residents travelling out of Dubai

  • 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. But you must have approval to return.
  • 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.
  • We offer free, automatic cover for your COVID-19 health and quarantine costs while you’re away from home. Find out more.

Special COVID-19 PCR test rates for Emirates passengers

Emirates passengers can take a COVID-19 PCR test at a special rate of AED 150 at American Hospital Dubai Media City Clinic, American Hospital Al Barsha Clinic and American Hospital Al Khawanij Clinic (opening end September). Home or office testing within Dubai for a minimum of two passengers is also available at AED 250. Test results will be available within 48 hours.

Passengers must present a valid ticket/boarding pass (departure within one month of test date) and ID to take the COVID-19 PCR test at these rates.

Passengers must take the test within the period required by their destination and Emirates will not be responsible if the test results are not released in time for travel.

Travel from Dubai to the UK and Europe

  • All passengers travelling from Dubai to the UK or Europe are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours before departure and present the printed test result certificate at check-in. Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from this test. Please check the travel requirements for your specific destination before you travel.

Travel from Dubai to China

  • There are specific COVID-19 testing requirements and documents you need to complete if you are travelling from Dubai to China. Check the process and travel requirements for China before you travel.

Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

There are strict rules for travelling into Abu Dhabi by road. All passengers entering Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 96 hours. You may have to quarantine depending on how long you have been in the UAE.

Arriving passengers

If you have just arrived in Dubai and travel straight to Abu Dhabi, you must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 96 hours and take a DPI test at the border. You must also quarantine for 14 days and wear a tracking wristband. Your quarantine may be at home, in a hotel, or in accommodation provided by the health authorities. After 12 days you must take another COVID-19 PCR test. If you are negative, you can remove the wristband after 14 days. If you are positive, you must follow the Abu Dhabi health authority advice.

If you have been in the UAE for up to 14 days

Your quarantine time will be reduced by the number of days you have already been in another emirate of the UAE. For example, if you have been in Dubai for 10 days before entering Abu Dhabi, you must quarantine for 4 days after entering Abu Dhabi.

If you have spent more than 14 days in the UAE before entering Abu Dhabi

You must present at the Abu Dhabi border your negative COVID-19 PCR test results or negative laser DPI blood test results issued within 96 hours. If you are staying in Abu Dhabi for six or more consecutive days, you must take another COVID-19 PCR test by the sixth day. These tests are a legal requirement. Find out where to get tested in Dubai before you enter Abu Dhabi.

Resumption of flights

COVID-19 flight and travel restrictions remain in place across many countries around the world. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves, and we hope to resume services as soon as conditions allow. This includes receiving government approvals, the easing of travel restrictions, and commercial demand. We will announce any service resumption when we can. Find out which destinations we’re flying to and from.

Our current network and services

Find out everything you need to know about travelling to your destination, including entry requirements, safety precautions, and our current services.