Travel requirements for Dubai

Passenger procedures for travelling to and through Dubai are changing frequently. Here’s what you need to know depending on whether you’re a citizen or resident returning to Dubai or a visitor travelling to Dubai.

Procedures for UAE residents and visitors arriving or transiting in Dubai

Passengers travelling to Dubai must download the COVID19 - DXB Smart App (from Apple App Store or from Google Play Store) and register before departure or on arrival.

Passengers travelling from Egypt

Until further notice passengers arriving in Dubai from Egypt must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English or Arabic from a test taken at a certified lab (in the country from which they are travelling) no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai. The test result MUST display a QR code.

Passengers travelling from Sudan

Until further notice passengers travelling to Dubai from Sudan must:

  • present a printed copy of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) from a test taken at an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure of their inbound flight to Dubai;
  • undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is received.

Please note that passengers travelling to Dubai from Sudan are no longer required to take a rapid PCR test at the airport 6 hours prior to departure.

For passengers travelling through Dubai from Sudan, the rules/conditions governing any further transit point or entry at the final destination of these passengers will apply.

Passengers travelling from Tajikistan or Uzbekistan

Until further notice passengers travelling to Dubai from Tajikistan or Uzbekistan must:

  • present a printed copy of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) from a test taken at an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure of their inbound flight to Dubai;
  • undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is received.

For passengers travelling through Dubai from Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, the rules/conditions governing entry at the final destination of these passengers will apply.

Resumption of flights from Uganda

Flights from Entebbe in Uganda have resumed.

Passengers travelling to Dubai must:

  • present a printed copy of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) from a test taken at an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure of their inbound flight to Dubai;
  • take a rapid PCR test (based on molecular diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA) at Entebbe airport ("Test & Fly Lab" and "Same Day Lab" only) no more than 6 hours before the departure time of the flight (the test report must display a QR code);
  • undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is received.

Passengers travelling through Dubai only need to present a printed copy of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) from a test taken at an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure of their inbound flight to Dubai. A rapid PCR test at the airport is not required.

Please note this does not apply to UAE citizens or other categories of exempted passengers as previously published. These passengers will be subject to testing on arrival.

Passengers who want to transit via a third country to Dubai from Uganda must take the rapid PCR test in the airport at the last point of departure no more than 6 hours before the departure time of the flight. The test must be based on molecular diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA and the test report must display a QR code.

Passengers travelling from Lebanon or Turkey

Until further notice passengers arriving in Dubai from Lebanon or Turkey must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English or Arabic from a test taken at a certified lab (in the country from which they are travelling) no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai. The test result MUST display a QR code.

Suspended flights

Until further notice flights to and from Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Zimbabwe are suspended.

Passengers who have been in or transited through these countries in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Dubai.

This does not apply to:

  • employees of official missions between the UAE and the countries mentioned above;
  • UAE nationals, 1st degree relatives and their domestic/house workers/helpers;
  • members of diplomatic missions between the UAE and the countries mentioned above;
  • UAE Golden Visa holders.

Exempted UAE nationals, 1st degree relatives and their domestic/house workers/helpers must:

  • undergo a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai;
  • remain in self-quarantine until they receive the test result.

Other exempted passengers must meet the following requirements:

  • exempted passengers must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic from a test taken in the country of departure by an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai;
  • exempted passengers must undergo a rapid PCR test (based on molecular diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA) at the departure airport no more than 6 hours before the departure time of the flight (the test report must display a QR code);
  • exempted passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai and self-quarantine until a negative test result is received.

Outbound travel from Dubai to these countries is permitted. However, UAE nationals are banned from travelling to these countries with the following exceptions:

  • UAE officials;
  • UAE nationals exempted and/or granted permission to travel by the appropriate authorities for emergency purposes;
  • UAE nationals belonging to educational/study missions who need to travel to these countries.

Passengers travelling from restricted countries

Passengers who have been in or transited through a restricted country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka) in the last 14 days will be allowed to travel to Dubai if they hold any type of visa and/or entry permission (granted by the appropriate authority in the UAE) and can meet the following entry requirements:

  • passengers holding a Dubai-issued UAE resident visa must have an approval granted by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to the UAE, and passengers holding a UAE resident visa issued by any other emirate must have an approval (with a QR code) granted by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) to return to the UAE (this does not apply to passengers travelling from Afghanistan);
  • passengers must be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic from a test taken in the country of departure by an approved health service no more than 48 hours prior to the departure of their inbound flight to Dubai (or no more than 72 hours prior to the departure of inbound flights from Indonesia);
  • passengers (with the exception of those travelling from Indonesia) must undergo a rapid PCR test (based on molecular diagnostic testing intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid for SARS-COV-2 viral RNA) at the departure airport no more than 6 hours before the departure time of the flight and the test report must display a QR code;
  • passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Passengers departing from any of the countries listed above via one of these restricted countries must undergo a rapid PCR test at the transit point within 6 hours of the departure of the inbound flight to Dubai or at the originating point within 6 hours of departure if they don’t enter the transit point.

Passengers departing from a country not listed above via a restricted country must undergo a rapid PCR test at the transit point within 6 hours of the departure of the inbound flight to Dubai (unless they don’t enter the transit point).

Passengers who are unable to meet all of the entry requirements above must complete 14 days in a non-restricted country before travelling to Dubai.

If you are transiting in Dubai and your journey originated in a restricted country, you must:

  • obtain the necessary entry permission/approval from the country which is your final destination;
  • be able to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (displaying a QR code) in English or Arabic from a test taken in the country of departure by an approved health service no more than 72 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai.

Passengers travelling from non-restricted countries

If you are a UAE resident or visitor arriving in Dubai from a non-restricted country, you must be able to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (from a test taken in the country of departure no more than 72 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai).

Passengers transiting in Dubai

If you are transiting in Dubai, unless mandated by your final destination, you are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai. However, make sure you can meet any transit and final destination entry requirements.

UAE nationals and first-degree relatives returning to Dubai

UAE nationals are not required to take a PCR test before returning to Dubai, regardless of the destination they are coming from and the time spent there. UAE nationals will be tested on arrival in Dubai.

This exemption from the requirement to be PCR-tested before arriving in Dubai is also extended to the following categories of passenger:

  • inbound passengers accompanying the first-degree relative of a UAE national;
  • domestic workers being accompanied by a UAE national sponsor.

These exempted passengers must be travelling on the same flight as the relative or sponsor.

Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from testing. Moderate to severe disabilities include neurological disorders, as well as intellectual or developmental disabilities, for example, acute spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Ataxia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Bell’s Palsy, brain tumour, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy and seizures. All other passengers (including those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or physically challenged) must hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test result as per the requirements.

Please note that negative PCR test certificates must be issued in the country of departure. However, negative PCR test certificates issued in the UAE can be used to return to Dubai if the test result is still valid for the country you are travelling from (either 48 or 72 hours). Passengers travelling to Dubai from a restricted country must still take a rapid PCR test at the airport 6 hours prior to departure.

Please note that if the validity period of your test result is different in the country you are departing from or travelling to, you should follow the requirement which is most restrictive.

PCR testing on arrival

Arriving passengers from the following countries will be required to undergo an additional PCR test when landing in Dubai: Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Philippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam or Zambia.

If you are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai, you will need to quarantine until you receive your results. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days. You will also need to download the COVID19 - DXB Smart App (from Apple App Store or from Google Play Store) and register with the Dubai Health Authority prior to arrival in Dubai.

Please note that even if you are not required to take a second PCR test on arrival in Dubai, you may be selected at random to take another test. If you are selected at random to take a second test on arrival in Dubai, you will need to download the COVID19 - DXB Smart App and quarantine until you receive your results.

Arriving in Dubai

All passengers arriving in Dubai need to comply with precautionary COVID-19 measures, including wearing a mask, observing social distancing and washing hands regularly.

Departing from Dubai

Until further notice UAE citizens who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are banned from travelling outside of the UAE. However, subject to obtaining approval from the concerned authority, the following are exempt:

  • individuals medically exempted from taking the vaccine;
  • humanitarian cases;
  • individuals travelling for medical and/or treatment purposes.

UAE citizens aged 18 and above will be exempted from this restriction and granted permission to travel out of the emirate of Dubai if they have:

  • completed 3 doses of an approved vaccine;
  • completed 2 doses of an approved vaccine and recovered from a COVID-19 infection;
  • completed 2 doses no more than 6 months from taking the second dose on the date of planned travel;
  • completed the single dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine if received within the last 2 months from the date of travel;
  • or recovered from a COVID-19 infection within a maximum period of 3 months from the date of the recovery certificate (regardless of the number of vaccine doses received).

For other cases not included in the list above, UAE citizens aged 18 and above must present an official letter from the relevant health authority in the UAE.

All passengers departing from Dubai need to follow transit and final destination requirements. Please check travel requirements by country here.

Important note: Before commencing your journey to the airport for a flight departing from Dubai, please ensure that you have the correct documentation for travel and a valid negative PCR test certificate if your destination or transit point requires it. You will need to present a printed copy at check-in for verification. If an invalid certificate is presented, you will not be accepted for travel.

If you are in any doubt about the status of your PCR test result, please download the ALHOSN UAE app. The app can be downloaded by visitors as well as UAE nationals and residents. To be accepted for travel to any destination or transit point requiring a valid negative test result, your status in the ALHOSN app must be green.

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What to expect on your journey with us

We’re taking all measures necessary to make sure you’re protected during your flight and that our crews are protected too, so here are some things you need to know when preparing for your flight.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must wear a face mask throughout your entire journey: at the airport, during boarding, throughout your flight and as you leave the aircraft. Children under 6 years old and passengers who have certain medical conditions do not have to wear a mask.

If for medical reasons you’re unable to wear a face mask throughout your entire journey, you need to send an email to specialassistance@flydubai.com at least 72 hours before the departure of your flydubai flight. Please attach a medical report signed and stamped by a qualified physician which states that you are unable to wear a face mask. Please also include your booking reference, contact details and any other relevant information. Please note that you will need to present the original medical report when you check in for your flight.

Alternatively, if you are a UAE resident departing from Dubai, you can apply for a Mask Exemption Permit at dxbpermit.gov.ae.

Medical reasons for being exempt from wearing a face mask include the following cognitive, intellectual and sensory conditions:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Down syndrome
  • Developmental delay
  • Autism spectrum condition

This also applies to passengers who require supplemental oxygen or have the following respiratory conditions:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Heart failure
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma

Please note that even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, you must still wear a face mask throughout your entire journey.

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Before booking your flight

Check the passenger procedures above for travelling to and from Dubai. Passenger procedures are changing frequently, so check what you need to know depending on whether you’re a citizen or resident returning to Dubai or a visitor travelling to Dubai.

Check for any restrictions. Before you book your flight, check the IATA Travel Centre website to understand what restrictions are in place at your destination of travel.

Check for quarantine requirements. Don’t forget to check any quarantine requirements for when you arrive at your destination, as well as for your return if you’re planning a round trip.

If necessary, make sure you can obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to travel to Dubai. Review the passenger procedures above to check if you need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to be accepted for travel. 

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Before leaving home

Ensure you have no COVID-19 symptoms. You may be subject to health screening at the airport to determine that you have no symptoms of COVID-19 before travelling. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. Some people experience body aches, muscle pain, headaches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea or loss of smell and taste.

Check in for your flight online. If available, please use online check-in for your flight to help reduce contact with airport staff and support social distancing measures.

Prepare a travel hygiene pack. Carry your own travel hygiene pack with you to the airport. Include enough masks for the entire duration of your travel along with hand sanitiser (less than 100ml) and antibacterial hand wipes. Gloves are optional. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.

Put your mask on. Before leaving home, wash your hands and put your mask on. You’ll be required to wear this at every stage of your journey from the moment you leave home until you reach your final destination. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.

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At the airport

Arrive on time. To allow time for additional checks, you should arrive at the airport (wearing your mask) 3 hours before your flight (unless advised otherwise). Health screening may take place at check-in or at other points throughout the airport.

Pass through security and immigration. Continue to wear your mask as you pass through security and immigration and continue to observe social distancing while you wait to board.

Proceed to board. Only proceed to board when you are called by the boarding gate staff, continuing to maintain a safe distance from other passengers and airport staff. To help with smooth boarding, have your passport open at the picture page. Please note that you must wear a mask to be able to travel. Children aged six years and over are required to wear a mask.

Board the bus. You will only be allowed to board the bus if you are wearing a mask.

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On board the aircraft

Board the aircraft. Continue wearing your mask as you board the aircraft. Hold your boarding pass at arm’s length for a member of crew to inspect. After your boarding pass has been checked, stow your own hand baggage and take your assigned seat.

Stay in your assigned seat. During the flight, you must remain in the seat assigned to you and keep your seatbelt fastened. Limit your movement around the aircraft to avoid close contact with crew and other passengers. Please do not enter the galley area. Press the call bell if you need to attract the attention of a member of crew.

Use designated lavatories. If required and only when there is no queue, use a designated lavatory. Economy class passengers must use the lavatories at the rear of the aircraft and business class passengers must use the lavatory at the front of the aircraft. Try to reduce visits to the lavatory as much as possible to protect our crew and other passengers.

Protect our crew and other passengers. Wear your mask throughout the flight and sanitise your hands regularly. If you need to sneeze or cough, lower your head, turn away from fellow passengers or members of crew and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow.

Follow crew instructions. Always follow the instructions of our cabin crew and comply with any request to have your temperature taken or to complete forms required by the authorities at the destination of your travel.

Notify crew if you feel unwell. If you start to feel unwell at any time during the flight, or begin to have difficulty breathing, you must inform a member of crew immediately and follow any instructions given.

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Arriving at your destination

Leave the aircraft. Continue to wear your mask as you leave the aircraft, retrieving your own hand baggage from the overhead locker. If there is congestion in the aisle, remain seated until you can leave and still maintain a safe distance from other passengers.

Be prepared for medical screening. Health screening (including temperature testing) may take place on arrival at your destination. You may also be required to present documentation which indicates that you are negative for COVID-19. Additionally, you may be required to quarantine or self-isolate. These mandatory requirements may need to be met at your own cost.

Pass through security and immigration. Continue to wear your mask as you pass through security and immigration and continue to observe social distancing. If you are transferring onto another flight and don’t hold a boarding pass, you’ll need to proceed to the transfer desk.

Collect your baggage. Continue to wear your mask as you wait for your baggage. To avoid crowding, stand away from the baggage belt to allow other passengers to retrieve their baggage.

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