As I have recently returned to the UAE as a resident, I have received many email queries about the entry requirements. Here are the up-to-date entry and transit procedures for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I have also included a list of locations of where to go to get COVID PCR Tests.

Dubai Arrival and Transit Procedures

The below is the same if you are traveling on any airlines to Dubai regardless of if you are flying on Emirates or any foreign airlines.

  • All passengers arriving in Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate to be accepted on the flight. We recommend you bring a printed certificate, but digital ones are accepted in Dubai. It must be an official certificate - SMS confirmation messages are not accepted. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.
  • The UAE government has specified designated laboratories. If you are flying from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, you must get your certificate from one of these labs. If you are flying from any other country, you can either use the recommended laboratories in the same document or any trusted and certified laboratories in your country of origin.
  • You may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel or residence until you receive the test result. If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines. 
  • You must also download the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App. iOS - Android
  • All travellers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete this health declaration form and give it to the staff at check-in. This form will also be available at check-in.
  • You will also need to complete the quarantine undertaking form given to you on board if Dubai is your final destination. Hand this form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.

Tourist Can Only Arrive In Dubai

Please note currently if you're a tourist, you can only enter via Dubai.

Restrictions on the movement of people from other Emirates into Abu Dhabi has been lifted. However, if travelling into Abu Dhabi by road you must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued within the last 48 hours.

Departing from Dubai

  • All passengers traveling from Dubai to UK or Europe (and other mandated destinations) will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours before departure and present the test result certificate at check-in.
  • Before you travel, please check the requirements of the country you are traveling to. You may need to take a printed COVID-19 PCR test before you depart.

List of locations in Dubai For PCR Test

I recommend the drive in COVID PCR Test at Dubai Festival City located at Festival City Mall, near Crescent Drive. No reservation is needed. When I did mine, it took just 5 minutes with no queue. The Cost was 330 Dhs. Click here for more info to book.

Al Nasr Club, Oud Metha Road (Close to Ismaili Centre Dubai)
Sunday to Thursday, 08:00 to 18:30
To book: call DHA on 800 342 on book online.

You can also get COVID-19 PCR test with Al Futtaim Health Hub at following location:

  • Al Qusais Ground Floor, 8777 Manazel Deira Building, Al Nahda Street, Al Qusais 2
  • Silicon Oasis Lynx Tower, No. 6, Silicon Oasis
  • Discovery Gardens Zen Cluster, Building 6, Street 1 A, Discovery Gardens. Next to Dubai Driving Centre
  • Al Warqa, Mushroom Building No. 3, Al Warqa 1
  • International City, Warsan Building, Opposite T01 Spain Cluster

Abu Dhabi Arrival Procedures

You will only be permitted to enter the UAE via Abu Dhabi if you are a UAE national or resident with a valid visa. All other visa types, including tourist visas, are unable to enter via Abu Dhabi. Seamen are permitted entry.

If you are a UAE resident, you no longer require ICA approval to return to Abu Dhabi. Before you book your flight, you are encouraged to visit Please submit your passport number and Emirates ID number to receive instant verification of your UAE entry status – this will be based on your UAE residence visa validity. 

You must also take a photocopy of your passport and UAE resident visa, as you’ll need to present this when you arrive in Abu Dhabi.

You will need to undergo thermal screening and COVID-19 PCR testing when you land at Abu Dhabi airport, this will take some time to complete. This applies to all guests, excluding children under 12.

You can use Abu Dhabi airport even if you are from another emirate such as Dubai or Sharjah. If you are travelling from another emirate to reach Abu Dhabi airport, you must present a negative COVID-19 test before you will be permitted to enter Abu Dhabi. The test must be valid within 48 hours.

If you are a UAE resident, you no longer require ICA approval to return to Abu Dhabi
If you are a UAE resident, you no longer require ICA approval to return to Abu Dhabi

Transit in Abu Dhabi

It is mandatory to have a COVID-19 PCR test before you fly with Etihad Airways – you will only be permitted to fly if you have a negative test result.

Your test must be carried out a maximum of 96 hours before your flight departure time at any government accredited medical facility. Timings will differ if you are flying from China or the USA. Passengers departing Pakistan and India must use an Etihad approved medical facility. Enter your departure city here to find out more.

Children under 12 and people with mild and severe disabilities are exempt from COVID-19 PCR testing. This may vary by destination – always check before you fly.

Remember to print your test results and keep them with you throughout your trip – you will be required to present your result for validation at check-in.

The maximum connection time in Abu Dhabi is six hours. If the time between your connecting flights exceeds six hours, you will not be permitted to check in.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, limited Duty Free and food and beverage options are available in Abu Dhabi. The Etihad Business Class Lounge is open in Terminal 3, but all other lounges remain closed.