Critical Alert

Authorities in Dubai Emirate, UAE, amend travel protocols to Dubai, Oct. 26.


Authorities in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amended travel protocols to Dubai, Oct. 26. Entry measures are dependent on the perceived risk of COVID-19 in the travelers' country of arrival.

UAE residents who are traveling to Dubai from countries deemed at lower risk can either present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test issued within 96 hours of departure or take a PCR test on arrival. Tourists from these countries must present a negative PCR test issued within 96 hours before departure - except for passengers coming from the UK and Germany who can take a PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Transiting passengers from lower-risk countries are not required to present a PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by authorities in the destination country.

UAE residents traveling from higher-risk countries must take two PCR tests: one issued within 96 hours before departure, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai. These measures also apply for tourists arriving from these countries. Transiting passengers from these countries must have a negative PCR test, as well as any requirements by authorities in their destination countries.

With the exception of Dubai Emirate, travelers into the UAE via international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days and, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, must wear an electronic tracking bracelet. If international travelers arrive in one of the UAE's other emirates but plan to go to Abu Dhabi, the 14-day quarantine requirement still applies. Time spent in another emirate prior to entering Abu Dhabi is deducted from the 14-day quarantine requirement. Those arriving in Abu Dhabi whose final destination is another emirate are required to obtain a negative PCR test result issued within 96 hours before departure. Travelers may leave Abu Dhabi during their quarantine period to visit another emirate; however, if they wish to return, they must follow entry guidelines. Travelers must take a PCR test on the 12th day of their quarantine.

Persons entering Abu Dhabi via the Dubai border will either need a negative PCR test result, taken within the previous 48 hours, or a negative diffractive phase interferometry (DPI) test result within the last 48 hours, accompanied by a PCR test result, which must have been received within the last six days. All inbound passengers will undergo another COVID-19 test upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Some flights from Abu Dhabi require a COVID-19 test result before departure.

Other measures in effect in the UAE are included below:

  • Emirati nationals returning to Dubai are no longer required to conduct a PCR test prior to departure; the test will now be conducted on arrival.
  • Residents returning to Dubai still need to get approval before traveling. Those returning to other parts of the UAE no longer need to get approval
  • If departing from Abu Dhabi to the EU or UK, you will need to have a negative PCR test result taken within 96 hours prior to your departure.
  • All travelers to Dubai, including passengers with connecting flights, must complete a health declaration form.
  • Stringent precautionary measures will continue to be enforced in public areas and facilities across the UAE based on guidelines issued by local and federal authorities.
  • Work permits were suspended effective March 19, except for internal transportation permits and employment permits for Expo 2020.


Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.


Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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