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#India2UAE: Which approval should I get - GDRFA or ICA?

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on July 13, 2020 | Last updated on July 13, 2020 at 06.44 am
Abu Dhabi, Dubai,  Sharjah, UAE coronavirus, Covid-19, warning, travel, Coronavirus outbreak, tourists, Visa, Flight, lockdown, PCR testing ,Pandemic,

(Photo: Shihab/KT)

PCR testing for passengers arriving in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah will take place at the airport.

For Indian residents who are planning their return to the UAE, a valid pre-departure General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) approval is required if his/her destination is Dubai or Sharjah, Air India Express has said in a blog.

Passengers need a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approval to enter any other airport in the country.  

According to the FAQs posted on the Air India Express blog for travellers on the India-UAE sector, the airline has said only resident permit holders can book tickets on these flights.

Furthermore, all passengers landing in Abu Dubai, Dubai, and Sharjah must have a negative Covid-19 test result from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved laboratories.

Here is all you need to know:

1. I am a UAE resident permit holder returning to Dubai. What documents must I carry?

The UAE government has permitted entry into the country for a limited period between July 12 till July 26, for which you are required to have:

(i) A valid ICA or GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs) approval if you are going to Dubai.

(ii) A valid Negative Covid-19 PCR test report from a government-approved laboratory

(iii) Health Declaration and  Quarantine Undertaking forms to be filled and submitted at the Dubai Airport on arrival and

(iv) A downloaded Covid-19 - DXB Smart App

NOTE: Passengers with expired ICA/ GDRFA approval will not be accepted at check-in

2. I am a resident permit holder returning to Abu Dhabi, what documents must I carry?

Same as above, except for the approval to travel. Those travelling to Abu Dhabi must have an ICA approval.

3. I am returning to Sharjah. What documents must I have?

Same as above, but approval can be from ICA or GDRFA.

4. Is a Covid-19 PCR test mandatory to travel to UAE?

A valid Negative Covid-19 PCR test report from a government-approved laboratory, no older than 96 hours prior departure, is mandatory for travel back to Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

»Dubai: When you arrive in Dubai, you must take a PCR test at the airport and remain in your residence until you receive the test result. If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.

»Abu Dhabi: PCR testing and temperature screening is in operation at Abu Dhabi airport.

»Sharjah: PCR testing is undertaken on arrival.

6. Can I travel to UAE with a work permit or a tourist visa?

Currently, only resident permit holders returning to UAE are allowed for travel for a limited period of July 12 till July 26 from India.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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