Dubai to introduce stricter travel protocols starting January 31

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2021

Dubai has recently decided to tighten restrictions on travellers amid the growing concerns of COVID-19. All passengers to Dubai from any country are now required to hold a COVID negative PCR Test certificate with the new rule announced by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management set to come into effect from January 31.


The rules state that citizens of UAE will be required to do a Polymerase Chain Reaction Test to check for the novel coronavirus only on arrival in Dubai, irrespective of where they are traveling from. Meanwhile, residents of UAE along with citizens of countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council will have to do a PCR test before their travel, no matter where they are coming from.


The Committee has mandated that arrivals from certain countries (based on the pandemic situation in those countries) require an additional test on arrival in Dubai. Protocols will remain the same for UAE citizens returning to the country from overseas, which exempt them from undergoing a PCR test prior to departure, regardless of the country they are coming from. They will only be required to conduct a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

The Committee has also decided to reduce the validity period of PCR tests from 96 hours to 72 hours, meaning those travelling to Dubai cannot carry a PCR test result that is more than 72 hours old. It has also directed Dubai Airports Company to provide Rapid PCR or Rapid Antigen testing at Dubai airports, in cooperation with relevant authorities, to facilitate travel procedures for passengers departing from Dubai to countries that require this type of pre-travel test, in accordance with the time-frame specified.

The Committee said the updated travel protocols are part of a regular process of revising and optimising precautionary measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments. They are also aimed at enabling the city to continue serving as a global commercial hub and a bridge for travel and trade between the east and west.

Addtionally, travellers leaving Dubai via air can also take a rapid PCR or a rapid antigen test. This will be made available at the airport if the destination country requires them to have taken the test. Passengers transiting through Dubai must also comply with all the required regulations of their respective destination country.



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