Stock Dubai airport passengers
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: With the UAE authorities announcing that tourist visa applications are open to all vaccinated travellers from August 30, 2020, you may be interested in planning a trip to the country.

If you do wish to travel on a tourist visa to the UAE, these are the guidelines issued by UAE-based airlines that tourists need to adhere to:

Emirates

These are the guidelines that Emirates has provided on its website for tourists travelling to Dubai:

Before you book

Check if you need a visa. Depending on your nationality you can get a visa on arrival, or you can apply for your prearranged visit visa from Dubai Immigration before you travel.

Before you travel

An approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) is not required for tourists travelling to the UAE.

Requirements for passengers arriving from Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, Indonesia:

• A valid negative COVID 19 PCR [Polymerase Chain Reaction] test certificate with a QR code issued within 48 hours of the time the sample was collected from an approved health facility.

• A rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.

Requirements for all passengers arriving in Dubai

All passengers travelling 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 Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The specific requirements for passengers from these countries are:

• 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.

• Travellers must bring an official, digital or printed 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. Digital COVID 19 certificates are accepted upon arrival at Dubai International Airport verification points.

• COVID 19 RT PCR test certificates must be issued by an authorised 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 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: Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt and Ethiopia.

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
  • Austria
  • 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
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Russia
  • Senegal
  • Slovakia
  • Somaliland
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Zimbabwe

Flydubai

According to the flydubai website, from August 30, 2021, passengers with any type of visa and/or entry permission granted by the appropriate authority in the UAE will be allowed to travel to Dubai from Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. Tourists are subject to the following entry requirements:

• Passengers must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic from a test taken in the country of departure by an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai.

• Passengers must undergo a rapid PCR test (based on molecular diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA) at the departure airport within six hours of boarding the aircraft (the test report must display a QR code).

• They must undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

• If you are a UAE resident or visitor arriving in Dubai, regardless of where your journey originated, you must be able to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (from a test taken in the country of departure no more than 72 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai). Arriving passengers from the following countries will also be required to undergo an additional PCR test when landing in Dubai:

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guinea
  • Hungary
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Slovakia
  • Somalia
  • Somaliland
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Zimbabwe

• Passengers arriving in Dubai from Egypt, Ethiopia, Lebanon or Sudan must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English or Arabic from a test taken at a certified lab (in the country from which they are travelling) no more than 72 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai. The test result must display a QR code.

Etihad

According to the Etihad website, passengers can fly to Abu Dhabi if they are a UAE national or resident, you are either eligible for a visa on arrival or you hold a visit visa for Abu Dhabi. If you are a tourist, your visa must be issued in Abu Dhabi.

Following government directives, you must register via the ICA Smart Travel Service before your flight. This applies to adults and children or infants and if you are travelling to Dubai or another emirate.

This does not apply if you are a UAE national or are transiting in Abu Dhabi.

Vaccination is not a condition of entry to Abu Dhabi but you will need it to move freely about the city.

Registering with the ICA

According to the guidelines on Etihad’s website, if you have been fully vaccinated in the UAE you do not need to upload your vaccine certificate and simply need to register before you fly.

Also read

If you have been fully vaccinated outside the UAE and wish to have this recognised:

• Register five days before your flight

• If you do not register in time, your vaccination status may not be recognised. That means you will not receive a green pass in the Al Hosn app, and you may be required to quarantine for a longer period of time

• When you’ve registered, you’ll receive a QR code by email

Please note that COVID-19 related travel guidelines are regularly updated and it is important to check the latest updates before planning your trip.