Dubai has remained open for tourism since July 2020. Known for its glitzy skyscrapers, balmy beaches, and high-end malls, Dubai is one of the first cities in the Middle East that have restarted tourism in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the local government has imposed several travel restrictions for tourists to follow.
Recently, the UAE authorities have announced that they will now start accepting applications for tourist visas. This comes a month before the Dubai Expo 2020 will start, which is on October 1, 2021. Tickets for this prestigious event are now on sale worldwide. The event will feature pavilions from around the world showcasing architectural and technological innovations. This was scheduled to open last year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re planning to travel to Dubai soon, here’s what you need to know.
Protocols For Tourists Visiting Dubai
All passengers entering Dubai as tourists will need to have a negative COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test certificate. The test should be performed no more than 72 hours before departure and it must be taken through a Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction (RT‑PCR). Other test certificates, such as NHS Covid Test Certificates, antibody tests, rapid PCR tests, and home testing kits are not accepted for entry into Dubai.
All travelers are required to carry an official, digital, or printed certificate in the English or Arabic language. This will be checked before check-in. SMS certificates will not be accepted. PCR certificates in other languages are acceptable only if they can be validated at the originating station. Digital COVID‑19 certificates are accepted upon arrival at Dubai International airport verification points.
The COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test certificates should be issued by an authorized facility in the traveler’s country of origin. Those certificates that have already been presented for travel to another destination cannot be used for re‑entry even if they are still within the validity period.
Travelers who came from high-risk countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Indonesia will be required to have a valid negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate with a QR code. This certificate should be issued within 48 hours from the time the sample was taken.
Passengers coming from high-risk countries will also be required to have a rapid PCR test report with a QR code. The test must be conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure for Dubai. Because of this, passengers flying to Dubai coming from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Zambia, and Indonesia are currently not allowed into the UAE since there are no rapid PCR testing facilities at the airports of these countries.
Test On Arrival
Some passengers will be required to undergo another COVID‑19 PCR test upon arrival in Dubai. These are passengers who came from the following countries:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Ivory Coast
- South Africa
- South Sudan
Starting September 4, 2021, all passengers arriving from Austria, Maldives, and Oman will no longer need to undergo a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
Protocols For Tourists Entering Abu Dhabi
Take note that there will be different rules for tourists entering Abu Dhabi.
Vaccinated tourists who came from green list destinations are required to take a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival. They will no longer need to quarantine upon entry but they will be tested for the COVID‑19 PCR test on the sixth day.
Unvaccinated tourists entering Abu Dhabi from green list countries will have to undergo a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival without the need to quarantine. But they will have to take COVID‑19 PCR tests on Days 6 and 9.
Here’s a list of countries on Abu Dhabi’s green list.
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Taiwan, Province of China
Tourists arriving from high-risk countries will have to be tested for the COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival, undergo mandatory quarantine for seven days, and undergo another COVID‑19 PCR test on their sixth day. These protocols apply to all visitors who came from non-green countries, including UAE residents and citizens.
All visitors are required to download the Alhosn App. They must document their testing and quarantine results on this app.
For more information: