Dubai: Emirates airline on Tuesday updated its travel rules for UAE residents flying in from India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. In the latest guidelines, COVID-19 vaccination certificate is no longer stated as a requirement for entry into Dubai.
All passengers with a valid UAE residence visa are allowed to travel to and through Dubai from these countries, provided they comply with the following:
- Dubai visa holders must apply for pre entry approval through General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)
- Passengers must have a valid COVID-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours between 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 complete a COVID-19 PCR rapid test 4 hours before the departure of their flight. (Rapid antigen test will not be accepted)
- Passengers must complete a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai
- UAE Nationals are exempted from the above requirements but subject to COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai
In a travel update, Indian carrier Vistara also said, “Regardless of vaccination status, customers will be welcomed on Vistara flights to Dubai.” When contacted, PP Singh, regional manager for Air India and Air India Express, confirmed receiving new guidelines from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) regarding the same.
“Based on the new guidelines given by the DCAA, airlines need to look for only the return permit from GDRFA and two valid negative PCR reports. Airlines have not been asked to check the vaccination status of the passengers,” he told Gulf News.
Travel agents said they have also been briefed by airlines that vaccination certificates are not being checked for allowing UAE residents to return to Dubai.
Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels said: “We have been told by three airlines that passengers from India are only required to show GDRFA approval and two PCR negative reports,” he said.
As for Etihad, the vaccination certificate of receiving both doses from within the UAE is still a requirement according to their latest travel guidelines.
What was previously known?
As of the airline’s last announcement, unless passengers fell in an exempted category, only residency-visa holders who got vaccinated in the UAE, and have vaccination certificates issued by the UAE authorities would be allowed to travel from these countries.
Therefore, if a resident received their two vaccination doses in India while being stranded there, they would not be able to travel in to the country.
They must complete all the requirements of their final destination and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate for a test taken 72 hours or less before departure or as required by their final destination. Only COVID-19 PCR test reports from certified labs that issue a QR code linked to the original report will be accepted.