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Q&A: What to keep in mind before travelling to the UAE?

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Overwhelmed by the travel procedures to and from Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Here is a simple, straightforward Q&A that will assist passengers to make well-informed decisions ahead of their travels.

Q1. What category of passengers can travel to the UAE?

UAE Nationals, resident permit holders with a stamped residence visa in the passport returning to UAE only. Visit visas issued in Dubai and Sharjah can travel to Dubai

Q2. Which Emirates are issuing visit visas?

Dubai and Sharjah. Abu Dhabi is yet to issue visit or tourist visas

Q3. Who can travel to Abu Dhabi?

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.

Q4. Who can travel to Dubai?

UAE Nationals, resident permit holders with a stamped Dubai residence visa in the passport returning to UAE only. Visit visas holders can also travel to Dubai.

Q5. Who can travel to Sharjah?

Travel is now permitted for all citizens and residents through the ports of Sharjah to or from any destinations. However, all travellers must assess the Covid-19 situation of the countries they are planning to visit. Both tourists and residents must ensure they have adequate health insurance

Q6. Should I have a COVID-19 negative test before arriving in the UAE?

All residents returning to the UAE must complete a Covid-19 pre-examination at an accredited laboratory. Currently, accredited laboratories are located in 106 cities across 17 countries worldwide. More laboratories will be added in the accredited list in the coming weeks. For all passengers 12 years old and above, a valid Negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report in the printed form is required. Passengers are required to take a Covid-19 RT- PCR test not more than 96 hours before departure. The 96-hour time frame for accepting the Covid-19 RT-PCR test starts from the date of sample/ swab collection.

Some passengers will be required to take the rest from the airport.

Q7. Is health insurance mandatory for those arriving on visit visas?

Yes, valid health insurance is mandatory for those who are arriving on visit visas.

Q8. I am an Abu Dhabi residence visa holder travelling to Dubai. Do I need an ICA approval?

Yes. All non-Dubai residents landing at DXB are required to have an ICA approval, according to a new set of regulations announced by Dubai Airport on Wednesday. Though the pre-travel approval cannot be applied for online, passengers can update their data on the ICA website and it is recommended that only those who receive a ‘green OK to travel’ status from ICA are requested to travel.

Q9. I am a Dubai residence visa holder travelling to Dubai. Do I need a GDRFA approval?

Yes. Dubai residence visa holders still required to have approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to the UAE. There is an additional requirement for anyone flying from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines or Sri Lanka.

Q10. I am a Dubai residence visa holder travelling to Sharjah. Do I need an ICA/ GDRFA travel approval?

No. The emirate has lifted all travel restrictions and tourists are also allowed to enter freely. The move is part of the emirate’s efforts to normalise all activities, said the Sharjah Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Committee.

Q11. What apps must passengers download prior to arrival?

Those landing in Dubai must download the Covid-19 DXB Smart App. Those landing in all other Emirates must download Al-Hosn app.

Q12. Is there a mandatory quarantine for inbound travellers?

No, if those who have presented a negative Covid-19 test certificate at the airport, quarantine is not mandatory. However, home quarantine for a few days is highly recommended for overall community welfare.

Q13. Who is exempt from doing a COVID-19 test?

Passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempted from Covid-19 RT-PCR tests for travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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