UAE travel: Bans, flight suspensions and new Covid safety rules you must know

Authorities are doing all they can to keep Emiratis and expats safe


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 2 Jan 2022, 1:45 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 7:57 AM

As Covid-19 cases around the world rise with the detection of the Omicron variant, authorities in the UAE are doing all they can to keep Emiratis and expats safe. Federal and local authorities have announced a string of new Covid safety rules that include flight suspensions, travel bans on some and new Covid safety rules.

Here is all you need to know:

  • Travel ban on unvaccinated Emiratis

From January 10, Emiratis who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, despite being eligible to get the jab, will not be permitted to travel. The move will protect UAE citizens amid the “global epidemiological situation and the current high rate of infections”, according to a joint statement issued by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).


Fully vaccinated Emiratis need to get a booster dose of the vaccine when they are eligible for it. Unvaccinated citizens will be permitted to travel only if they are medically exempted from taking the vaccine. Humanitarian cases and individuals travelling for medical and treatment purposes will be permitted as well.

  • Flight suspensions

According to the latest update posted on Emirate Airline’s website, passengers “originating from the following destinations will not be accepted for travel to or through Dubai with effect from December 28, 2021, until further notice:

•Republic of Angola (LAD)

•Republic of Guinea (CKY)

•Republic of Kenya (NBO)

•United Republic of Tanzania (DAR)

•Republic of Uganda (EBB)

•Republic of Ghana (ACC)

•Republic of Cote d'Ivoire (ABJ)

•Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (ADD)

•Zambia (LUN)

•Zimbabwe (HRE).”

  • Random PCR testing at DXB

The Dubai International Airport is carrying out random Covid-19 PCR tests on passengers arriving on some flights.

  • GDRFA, ICA approvals

Residents from some countries travelling to Dubai need a GDRFA or ICA approval when travelling from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan. “This does not apply to passengers who have other visas, such as newly issued residence or employment visas, short stay or long stay visa, holders of 10 year UAE Golden visa, Investor or Partner visa, visit visa or visa on arrival,” Emirates Airline states on its website.

In addition to a negative result of a PCR test conducted within 48 hours of travel, passengers from these countries need to undergo a rapid PCR test at the departure airport within six hours of the flight.

  • PCR test on arrival at DXB

According to Emirates, passengers arriving in Dubai from the following countries will be required to take another Covid‑19 PCR test on arrival: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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