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UAE travel guide amid Covid: Quarantine, PCR test rules across Emirates

Sahim Salim/Dubai
Filed on February 16, 2021
File photo; credit: Shihab

Covid safety rules at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah airports.


The UAE is open to both tourists and residents, with both categories of travellers having to follow strict Covid-19 safety measures.

From quarantine requirements to PCR testing rules, the three main airports in the UAE have different procedures.

Here is your ultimate guide for travelling to the UAE, with guidelines spelt out for arriving at Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah airports.

>> Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH)

(Information source: Etihad Airways website)

- Quarantine-free travel

If you are travelling from 'Green List' destinations, you don't need to quarantine (check latest Green List here). You must take a Covid-19 PCR test on day 6 and day 12 of your arrival.

- Quarantine requirements

If you are travelling from any other country, you are required to quarantine for 10 days at home or at a hotel. If you are travelling from a country deemed high-risk by the UAE authorities, you may need to quarantine in a government facility. Those who require quarantine will need to wear a wristband provided by the authorities at AUH.

- PCR test requirements

A Covid-19 PCR test must be taken no more than 96 hours before departure. A print-out of the negative test results is required for check-in. All passengers landing at AUH will undergo an additional PCR test.

- Residents

Residents can visit uaeentry.ica.gov.ae to verify their UAE entry status.

- Tourists

If you are a tourist travelling to Dubai via Abu Dhabi, you must have an Abu Dhabi tourist visa – tourist visas issued in Dubai will not be accepted.

- Contact tracing app

All passengers to AUH must have AlHosn app downloaded.

>> Dubai Airport (DXB)

(Information source: Dubai Airports website)

- PCR testing requirements

All UAE residents, tourists and GCC citizens must take a Covid-19 PCR test 72 hours before scheduled flight departure time. The negative test result must be presented in printed certificate format by the traveller on arrival to DXB. It must be in English or Arabic. Handwritten certificates will not be accepted.

Some travellers may be required to undergo additional testing on arrival. Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from PCR test requirements.

UAE nationals are not required to take a Covid-19 PCR test. However, they will be tested at DXB irrespective of their country of departure.

- Residents don't need GDRFA approval

As on February 12, Dubai residents needn't get approvals from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) before returning to DXB.

- Contact tracing app

All travellers to DXB must download and register on the Covid-19 DXB app.

>> Sharjah Airport (SHJ)

(Information source: Sharjah Airport website.)

- PCR testing requirements

All travellers to SHJ must have a negative PCR test report conducted within 72 hours of travel. They will have to undergo another PCR test after arrival.

- Quarantine requirements

All travellers must self-quarantine at their residence until they get the results of their PCR tests.

If the test result is positive, they have to isolate for 14 days, with travellers or their sponsors bearing the expenses of treatment and isolation.

- No approvals needed for residents

All residents are allowed to enter the country through SHJ without obtaining prior approvals.

- Tourists

They must have an international health insurance. They must also have a local UAE mobile phone number for contact tracing purposes. SIM cards are available at arrival PCR testing zones.

sahim@khaleejtimes.com





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