COVID-19: UAE Travel Restrictions Update



The outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) awakened countries all over the world to take bio-security very seriously. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the countries in the Middle East that are not relenting on the fight against Covid-19. In doing so, the country announced travel restrictions that will only affect its citizens home or abroad, but also, members of diplomatic missions and tourists.

Worldometer estimates, as of May 15, 2021, the United Arab Emirates has confirmed a total of 544,931 persons have contracted the disease with 525,080 recoveries. Unfortunately, 1,629 people have perished. The figures show that UAE is one of the least affected countries in the world, considering the number of people who visit the country. Thanks to their travel restrictions.

The United Arab Emirates is open to tourists traveling to, from, and through Dubai but has specific restrictions for tourists or nationals onboard flights from some countries. For instance, tourists who have been in or transited through Nigeria or South African in the last 2 weeks will not be permitted entry to Dubai, however, this is not applicable for UAE nationals who are returning to the UAE and members of diplomatic missions. Members of diplomatic missions traveling from Nigeria must present a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate from one of the authorized laboratories in Nigeria.

Brazil, one of the hard-hit countries, is not on the green books of the UAE. Due to that, from 1 March 2021, only passengers with confirmed onward connections through Dubai can be accepted for travel on flight EK262 from Sao Paulo to Dubai. Passenger services from Sao Paulo with final destination Dubai or stopover in Dubai remain suspended until further notice. Only passengers who are traveling to Brazil are permitted to stop over in Dubai. This also applies to UAE nationals and UAE residents.

As of 12 May 2021, UAE updated its restrictions relative to passengers from India which is currently battling an astronomical surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. Other countries in Asia like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are on the red books of the UAE. Members of diplomatic missions, holders of UAE golden visas, UAE nationals, passengers exempted and/or granted permission to enter the UAE by the appropriate authorities as well as passengers traveling on a business flight who have a valid COVID 19 PCR test certificate will be allowed entry. Meanwhile, the passengers who are exempted from the restrictions must comply with the following;


  • Passengers must have a valid COVID‑19 test certificate issued within 48 hours of the time of sample collection and scheduled flight departure.
  • Only COVID‑19 PCR test reports from certified labs that issue a QR code linked to the original report will be accepted.
  • Passengers must undergo COVID‑19 PCR testing on arrival in Dubai, followed by two other PCR tests on the 4th day and 8th day of their quarantine period.
  • Passengers must sign an indemnity document for a 10‑day home or hotel quarantine, starting from the day of arrival.
  • Passengers must download the DXB COVID‑19 app upon arrival at Dubai airports and provide all the required information.

All passengers who have traveled from or transited through India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the last 14 days will not be accepted for travel to or transfer through Dubai from any other point except for returning UAE nationals.

Do you need a PCR test to enter UAE?

The UAE has made provisions for its nationals not to take a COVID‑19 PCR test before departing to Dubai but will be tested on arrival in Dubai. Aside from that, All other passengers, including those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or physically challenged must hold a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate as per the requirements.

Quarantine restrictions in UAE

Passengers who have tested positive upon arriving with a PCR test will be required to stay in isolation for 12 days. his test should have been conducted within 96 hours before traveling to the UAE. Expatriate residents returning to Dubai need approval from GDRFA and must download the COVID-19 DXB smart app.

Which countries are banned from entering UAE

UAE suspends entry for travelers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka from 23:59 due to COVID-19 May 12; other restrictions in place. Also, the UAE has stopped issuing visas to these 13 countries; Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Turkey.



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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.


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