Due to Covid-19 safety measures, Dubai closed its international borders in late March 2020. The country’s major airlines were all but grounded and even resident visa holders were locked out of their adopted home. Tourism in Dubai ground to a halt.
It has been a long journey these past few months, but plans are coming in to place to see the city re-open to tourism again once more, albeit it will be a very different experience for the time being.
On this page, we will be sharing with you facts that come from the UAE and Dubai authorities to help you plan your trip to Dubai in a post-COVID world.
When will Dubai re-open its international borders?
Dubai intends to reopen its borders to international tourists on 7 July 2020.
You can read about the specific protocols required for both returning residents and overseas visitors here:
NB Please note at this stage this guidance is specifically for the Emirate of DUBAI only.
In a hope of encourgaing back international visitors, Dubai Tourism released this short video on 8 June:
In a showcase of what the Emirate has to offer visitors, the video transports us to Old Dubai, the desert, a La Perle Show flying over the city, camel riding, Bedouin hospitality, Atlantis, the beaches and the Dubai Fountains.
“We’ve been waiting, dreaming, looking forward, to when we meet again”.
“We’ve also been preparing, getting ready, knowing the time to see each other comes closer with every rising sun.”
“We promise to welcome you with open doors, to make your journey extraordinary, and your well-being our priority.”
“We said we needed a moment, and it will only be a moment more”.
“We will see you soon.”
The latest Dubai Tourism Trade Toolkit states, “Authorities are preparing for a full reopening of UAE’s borders, subject to the removal of travel restrictions by implementing a series of strategic measures in conjunction with their federal counterparts designed to ensure the virus does not enter the emirate through its sea and land ports.”
“Travellers will be welcomed to Dubai in a safe and secure environment ensuring seamless use of contactless technologies and advanced equipment for screening incoming and outgoing passengers to safeguard the city from any spread of infection. World-class cleaning and disinfection processes across all facilities, attractions and assets to ensure a risk-free experience for tourists in the city are being implemented,”
Meanwhile… over the border in Abu Dhabi
As at 22 June, a travel restriction which came into place around the city of Abu Dhabi on 2 June has been extended by a further week, meaning there is no travel permitted in and out of Abu Dhabi without a special permit until at least 29 June:
The ban covers movements between Abu Dhabi’s regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafrah) as well as in and out of the emirate. It applies to all Abu Dhabi residents, including UAE nationals.
Exemptions are available by special permit for employees in vital sectors, emergency medical cases, and all goods and mail. Movement within each region is allowed in line with National Sterilisation Programme hours.WAM -Emirates News Agency
So in other words, if you are travelling into Dubai, at this stage you cannot travel over the road border into Abu Dhabi – this is being strictly enforced (and only taxis, not private hire cars can facilitate transport across the border if you hold the neccessary permi, eg to fly out of DXB or AUH airports).
The Abu Dhabi Government has not been forthcoming at this point when Abu Dhabi International Airport will start accepting international visitors.