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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 traveling to Dubai

Before you travel

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

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

UAE residents traveling from Ethiopia do not require GDRFA/ICA approval to travel to Dubai.

Requirements for passengers from these countries, including 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, visit visa or visa on arrival.
  • 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 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 traveling from other countries must have a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

For passengers traveling to Dubai as their final destination from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam and Zambia travel is currently not possible as there are no rapid PCR testing facilities at the airport.

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 traveling 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. Travelers 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 authorized 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 and Ethiopia.

Indian Nationals with a normal passport who are traveling 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 Europe union

The visa issued by United States, United Kingdom or Europe 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, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.

Transiting in 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, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Indonesia

All other transit passengers are not required to present this certificate unless it is mandated by their final destination.

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 of 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 national's 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 tumors, 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 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.

UAE Nationals travelling to Dubai are exempted from COVID-19 testing requirements prior to departure but will be subject to a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Traveling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

There are strict rules for traveling into Abu Dhabi by road.

Arriving passengers

Passengers who are planning to travel to Abu Dhabi must comply with the following protocols in place at all Abu Dhabi borders. These procedures may affect travel time.

Effective August 15, 2021, Abu Dhabi authorities have revised the rules and updated travel procedures for UAE citizens and residents as well as visitors entering Abu Dhabi. 

Vaccinated travelers arriving in Abu Dhabi from green-list destinations must take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival without the need to quarantine, and take a second COVID-19 PCR test on Day 6.

When arriving from other destinations (non-green), they must take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, quarantine for seven days and take a second COVID-19 PCR test on Day 6.

The protocol applies to fully vaccinated UAE citizens and residents as well as visitors, and must be documented on the Alhosn App.

Unvaccinated citizens, residents and visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi from green-list destinations must take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival without the need to quarantine, and take COVID-19 PCR tests on Days 6 and 9.

When arriving from other destinations (non-green), they must take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, quarantine for ten days and take another COVID-19 PCR test on Day 9.

Restrictions for unvaccinated individuals

Effective August 20, 2021, entry into public places will be limited to vaccinated citizens, residents, and tourists. The approved process allows entry for those vaccinated with green status on the Alhosn App, which appears after a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and is valid for 30 days.

Entry is also allowed for those exempted from vaccination with green status on Alhosn App, which appears after a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and is valid for seven days. Children under 16 years old whose status will appear as green on the Alhosn App without the testing requirement will also be allowed entry.

Unvaccinated individuals and those with gray status on the Alhosn App, which reflects an expired COVID-19 PCR test, are prohibited from entering public places.

Public spaces have been detailed as the following: shopping centers, restaurants, cafés, and all other retail outlets, including those not within a shopping center, as well as gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centers, and theme parks. The list also includes universities, institutes, public and private schools, and children’s nurseries in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Vaccination certificate verification

Before departure, visitors need to register in the Register Arrivals section of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) app, complete the register arrivals form and upload an international vaccination certificate. Visitors will then receive an SMS, including a link to download the Alhosn App. 

Upon arrival in Abu Dhabi, visitors will receive a Unified Identification Number (UID) either at the airport or via the ICA app or website. Visitors will then need to download and register on the Alhosn App using the UID and phone number used for ICA registration or when taking a COVID-19 PCR test in the UAE. 

Visitors will receive a one-time password (OTP) to complete the Alhosn App registration process. The Alhosn App allows users to check status, vaccination information, test results and travel test requirements, and use a live QR code.

These tests and processes are a legal requirement and those failing to follow this process are liable for fines.

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

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