Coronavirus Pandemic

Dubai flights: Rapid PCR tests can be taken within 6 hours of travel

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on August 18, 2021
Photo: Wam

The new directive is in line with a notification issued by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

Budget carrier flydubai has announced that passengers returning from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to Dubai will have to take a rapid PCR test six hours prior to the flight departure.

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The new directive is in line with a notification issued by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to provide extra flexibility for the airlines to facilitate the operations.

Earlier, all the airlines had asked passengers to take a rapid PCR test four hours before the flight.

The budget carrier announced that the UAE residents and visitors holding valid Dubai visas can return from Nepal and Sri Lanka from today (August 18) subject to certain conditions.

In addition, passengers will have to show General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) approval, a printed copy of negative PCR test with QR code in English or Arabic no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai.

“They must undergo a rapid PCR, RT PCR, ID NOW or molecular test for detection of nucleic acid for SARS COV2 at the airport within six hours of boarding the aircraft in their country of departure. They must undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai,” it said.

The UAE residents with a Dubai-issued visa can obtain GDRFA approval to return to Dubai by submitting a request through the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

“Only UAE residents holding a valid Dubai-issued visa together with a GDRFA approval issued on or after August 5, 2021, will be allowed to enter Dubai. Entry permissions granted by the GDRFA before August 5, 2021, will not be accepted,” it said.


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Children under 12 years and UAE nationals are exempt from PCR testing and vaccination requirements.

Flydubai said passengers from Pakistan’s Faisalabad, Karachi, Multan, Quetta and Sialkot airports can return if they meet these conditions, while UAE residents holding valid Dubai residence visas can also fly back from 11 Indian cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.

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