Your journey and what you need to know

Passenger procedures for travelling to and from Dubai have recently changed. 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 arriving in Dubai

  • If you hold a valid Dubai-issued residence visa, make sure you can obtain an approval from Dubai's General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to Dubai before booking your flight. Without approval to return to Dubai, you will not be accepted for travel. You can check the validity of your visa at https://amer.gdrfad.gov.ae/visa-inquiry.
  • If you hold a valid residence visa issued by any other emirate, you will need to confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE at uaeentry.ica.gov.ae before booking your flight. If you do not confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE, you will not be accepted for travel. You can check the validity of your visa at https://smartservices.ica.gov.ae/echannels/web/client/default.html#/fileValidity.
  • If your UAE resident visa expired before 01 March 2020, you will not be allowed to enter the UAE. You must apply for a new visa.
  • If your UAE resident visa expired after 01 March 2020, you will be allowed to enter the UAE until 31 December 2020. You will need to have your visa validated within 30 days of entry.
  • If you hold a UAE resident visa and have stayed outside of the country for more than 180 days, you will be allowed to enter the UAE.
  • If you are a UAE resident arriving in Dubai, and your journey originated in one of the following countries, you will be required to take two COVID-19 PCR tests (one no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai and the second on arrival in Dubai): Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia or Zimbabwe.
  • If you are a UAE resident arriving in Dubai, and your journey originated in any country not listed above, you have the option of presenting a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (from a test taken no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai) or taking a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai. 
  • If you are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai, you must be able to present a printed copy of the negative result in English or Arabic to be accepted for travel. Soft copies on mobile phones and handwritten test results will not be accepted. The test must be taken at a UAE government approved laboratory or one of the laboratories listed here. To request for a COVID-19 PCR test, click here. Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from testing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All passengers departing from Dubai need to follow transit and final destination requirements. Please check travel requirements by country here
 
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Procedures for tourists arriving in Dubai

  • If you are a tourist arriving in Dubai, and your journey originated in one of the following countries, you will be required to take two COVID-19 PCR tests (one no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai and the second on arrival in Dubai): Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia or Zimbabwe.
  • If you are a tourist arriving in Dubai, and your journey originated in any country not listed above, you must be able to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (from a test taken no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai). However, if your journey originated in the UK or Germany, you have the option of taking a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
  • If you are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai, you must be able to present a printed copy of the negative result in English or Arabic to be accepted for travel. Soft copies on mobile phones and handwritten test results will not be accepted. The test must be taken at a UAE government approved laboratory or one of the laboratories listed here. To request for a COVID-19 PCR test, click here. Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from testing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You will need to comply with all the precautionary COVID-19 measures in place in Dubai, including wearing a mask, observing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.
  • All passengers departing from Dubai need to follow transit and final destination requirements. Please check travel requirements by country here.

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Procedures for passengers transiting in Dubai

  • If you are transiting in Dubai, and your journey originated in one of the countries listed above, you must hold a negative PCR test result (from a test taken no more than 96 hours prior to the departure of your inbound flight to Dubai). You must also make sure that you can meet any transit and final destination entry requirements. 
  • If you are transiting in Dubai, and your journey originated in any country not listed above, you are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. However, make sure you can meet any transit and final destination entry requirements. You may be required to present a printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result at any point during your journey.
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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.

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Before booking your flight

Check the passenger procedures above for travelling to and from Dubai. Passenger procedures have recently changed, 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 will be subject to thermal screening at the airport and you must be determined to have no symptoms before being allowed to travel. Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

a) Fever
b) Cough
c) Sore throat
d) Runny nose
e) Shortness of breath

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.

Limit your hand baggage. Hand baggage will be highly restricted. You will only be allowed to carry a single piece of hand baggage, which should be the size of a small handbag, briefcase or laptop bag and weigh less than 7kg (to fit under the seat in front of you). Include essential items only. Make sure you have your travel hygiene pack, as well as all the necessary documents for travel, including your passport and other valuables, your completed health declaration form, your full itinerary and your boarding pass if you were able to check-in online. Trolley bags and other larger items will not be permitted in the cabin.

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 for thermal screening and other additional procedures, you should arrive at the airport (wearing your mask) 3 hours before your flight (unless advised otherwise). Temperature checks may take place before check-in or at other points in the airport.

Drop baggage at bag-drop desk. If you have checked in for your flight online and have your boarding pass printed, you can drop your baggage at the bag-drop desk.

Pass through security and immigration. Continue to wear your mask as you pass through security and immigration and continue to observe social distancing, following floor signage and avoiding crowded areas. Don’t forget to use any hand-sanitisation stations provided.

Wait for boarding. When you reach the departure gates, continue to wear your mask and observe social distancing by waiting in designated seating. At Dubai International, the availability of food and beverage outlets will be limited.

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. The capacity of the bus will be limited so you can maintain social distance from other passengers.

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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.

Please note although our onboard food service has resumed, there will be no snacks or drinks to buy on board, there will be no Duty Free service and Inflight Entertainment will not be available.

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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. Medical 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, following floor signage and avoiding crowded areas. Don’t forget to use any hand-sanitisation stations provided. Please also note that Smart Gates at Dubai International are not currently in use. 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. Once you’ve retrieved your own baggage, wipe the handles with an antibacterial wipe.

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