UAE travel: New PCR testing rule implemented at Dubai International Airport

The new measure includes travellers arriving in the city from countries not on screening lists


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2021, 3:43 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Dec 2021, 7:57 AM

As part of its efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, Dubai International Airport will now carry out random PCR tests on passengers arriving on some flights.

Passengers arriving from certain countries such as Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Russia, and Pakistan, for example, must undergo mandatory testing.

However, a Dubai Media Office spokesperson has confirmed that additional testing is being carried out on passengers arriving on flights not on screening lists.


Moreover, passengers who arrived from the UK confirmed they underwent testing at DXB upon arrival. The UK is not on the list of countries in which a PCR test is compulsory.

“PCR tests are mandatory for the flights mentioned on Emirates website,” said Dubai Media in a statement to Khaleej Times.

“However, as part of the extra precautionary measures, Dubai Airport may conduct random tests upon arrival for certain flights,” the statement added.

Testing requirements explained

All passengers travelling to Dubai from the UK must hold a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

Residents travelling Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan are subject to mandatory tests upon arrival.

Moreover, these passengers must also have a mandatory ICA and GDRFA approval pre-arrival. This does not apply to passengers who have other visas, such as newly issued residence or employment visas, short stay or long stay visas, holders of ten-year UAE Golden visa, Investor or Partner visa, visit visa or visa on arrival.

Passengers arriving from the countries above must present a negative Covid‑19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted within 48 hours. Prior to departure from an approved health facility, validity should be calculated from the time the sample was collected.

Passengers must also present a Covid‑19 Rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure.

Those who tested positive must quarantine for ten days from the time of the first PCT test. If the Covid-19 PCR test result is negative passengers no longer need to remain in self-isolation.

Fresh travel restrictions

Dubai has also issued fresh restrictions on travellers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

Passengers travelling to Dubai who has been in or transited through these countries in the past 14 days are not permitted to enter the Emirate.

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