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.
Please also check out the resources in our Essential Travel Planning information page
When will Dubai re-open its international borders?
Dubai 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:
Dubai Media Office – Current Travel Protocols
NB Please note at this stage this guidance is specifically for the Emirate of DUBAI only.
As at 24 July, Government guidance was updated that ALL passengers arriving in to the UAE must have a negative Covid test result less than 72 hours before deprture or they will not be able to board (previously they were able to test on arrival).
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,”
UPDATE: You can now see whether retail, food and beverage outlets and hospitality establishments are meeting the necessary local health protocols with the Dubai Assured stamp.
Meanwhile… over the border in Abu Dhabi
Travel restrictions between the Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi were introduced as of 22 June 2020. These restrictions have since been eased. However, anyone looking to cross between Dubai and Abu Dhabi must present a negative COVID-19 test at the border or book an appointment for a rapid screening antibody test at the border for 50dhs (this only applies to over 12’s, children do not need to be tested).
Click here to access the Ghantoot appointment booking system.
The testing requirement is not needed in reverse, road passengers may travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai without a COVID-test result.