Like many cities around the world, Dubai continues to be impacted by the damaging effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Unlikely many other cities and countries, however, Dubai & the UAE have not seen huge spikes in cases nor a high death toll. The testing regime is rigorous and the rollout of vaccines has been rapid.
There are times when stricter measures do need to be implemented for public safety, however, essentially since early July 2020 Dubai re-opened for business.
In this guide we will direct you to the latest resources you will need to plan a successful trip to Dubai, even during the pandemic.
Dubai Open to Tourism
Dubai started to reissue tourist visas from 7 July 2020, one of the first cities in the world to fully re-open its borders.
Unlike many places to reopen, Dubai has never imposed a self-quarantine or hotel quarantine program, enabling new arrivals to freely travel pretty much as soon as they arrive, provided they meet certain rules.
- See clear guidance given by Emirates here for international arrivals and what you need to do BEFORE you fly.
- This is the official Government portal for tourist arrivals into the UAE
The process arriving into Dubai
- All passengers travelling to Dubai from any point of origin (GCC countries included) must hold a negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
- Travellers must bring an official, printed certificate in English or Arabic to check in (SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. Foreign languages reports may be accepted at point of origin).
- Passengers arriving from some destinations may be required to take a follow up PCR when they arrive at DXB.
- If the result is positive, you must follow the instructions given by the Dubai Health Authority
- If the result is negative, you’re free to go explore, within the rules!
- Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from PCR test requirements.
UPDATE Effective 24 April 2021 and for the next 10 days, passengers who have travelled from or transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE
Covid-related health rules in Dubai
These rules have varied over time, but the most common you’ll see at hotels, restaurants and tourist establishments include:
- Face mask wearing in all public spaces
- Maintain social distancing of 2m
- From time to time, restaurant table capacity and overall hotel capacity may be reduced
- The compulsory use of heat sensors on entering restaurants and shops has been abolished but many will still do this
- You can stay up to date with Dubai Health Authority advisories on their Instagram – this includes daily reporting of cases (for the UAE, no separate reporting is done by Emirate)
- It is also recommended that you download the DHA DXB Smart App for the duration of your trip on Android and Apple
Different COVID rules apply in Abu Dhabi!!!
Although all part of the same country, the United Arab Emirates is actually made up of 7 Emirates. The two largest are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In mid-June 2020 Abu Dhabi closed its border with Dubai and has since implemented strict entry rules for anyone wanting to enter on the land crossing, in addition to its own rules for arrival by air.
- You’ll find our complete guide on how to cross the Dubai-Abu Dhabi land border here
- You will find a comprehensive guide to Abu Dhabi arrival and self-quarantine rules here
Essential for tourist arrivals to be aware of, Abu Dhabi still has a self-quarantine period applicable for any overseas arrivals from a country not on their “Green List“. The green list is regularly reviewed and updated.
You cannot circumvent these rules by arriving in to Dubai and crossing the border. Either you can remain in Dubai for the 7/10 day period before making the crossing to Abu Dhabi (with a negative COVID test result) OR, if you immediately make the land crossing to Abu Dhabi after arriving in Dubai you will be fitted with a tracker watch at the border. A follow up testing regime must then be followed.
Travelling from Dubai to other Emirates in the UAE
For Emirates other than Abu Dhabi, there is no land border crossing. Health and safety rules such as mask wearing and social distancing are similarly applied by the respective governing bodies in these Emirates. You can land into DXB, for example, and transit directly to Ras Al Khaimah resorts, await your PCR test result if it’s required, then use the facilities freely.
Please note we have provided the most up to date information we can from publicly available resources in the UAE. We cannot assist with your individual queries or travel arrangements. This is a personal travel blog, not a travel agency or affiliated in anyway with the airlines or any Government entities.Dubai Travel Planner
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here: