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Latest information for travellers: COVID-19

We are currently monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 closely and will continue to provide as much information and assistance to travellers as we possibly can.

We recommend that you check the travel advisory from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation for latest updates.

For health advice, we recommend that you refer to the 
UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention 

Please notetravel between Abu Dhabi and other UAE emirates is currently restricted. If you are travelling between emirates, as of 30 June 2020, you must prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 48 hours before you’ll be permitted to enter Abu Dhabi. You must also present your booking confirmation or ticket if requested by officials.

Traveller requirements differ between Dubai and other UAE emirates, as Dubai has its own crisis authority and immigration service. Please make sure to follow the guidelines set, and make a travel checklist before you fly. This is detailed within the sections below, alongside additional information and updates useful for travellers.

All travellers should check their eligibility to enter the destination of their choice before booking travel. Several countries have imposed individual immigration and travel restrictions. As the situation continues to change, please stay up to date with relevant travel advisories to and from the countries in which you intend to travel, to ensure that there are no current restrictions which might affect you. IATA’s Interactive Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Regulations Map (powered by Timatic), offers an overview of the latest travel regulations per country, worldwide.

If you are flying, please check the status of the flight on your airline’s website to keep up to date with any delays or cancellations. Check with your airport to find out of there is specific advice for travellers, including all of the latest health and safety precautions. Customers will be asked to follow all health and safety measures required by local authorities, their airline of choice, and the country of destination. 

International travel from Dubai (outbound)

Outbound travel is permitted for travellers to any foreign country, according to Dubai airports’ official flight schedules and subject to airports being operational at the destination of choice. Before you travel, please make sure to check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. You may need to take a printed COVID-19 PCR test before you depart.

For UAE nationals intending to travel to Europe (except to the UK and Greece), approval must be gained in advance from the Consulate General of the European destination within the country of departure. For example, UAE nationals travelling from Dubai to France must apply to the French Consulate General in Dubai. UAE nationals flying from Australia to France via Dubai must apply to the French Consulate General in Australia.

If you hold a Dubai residence visa and would like to return to Dubai, you must have government approval to enter. You can apply for this approval via Dubai’s immigration service, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website directly. You will be provided with a file number which must be entered on your visa. You don’t need this to leave the country – but you will need this to return. For peace of mind, apply before you travel.

During the GDRFA application process, when asked to enter your Resident File Number, you can find this number on your visa under ‘File’. Check the GDRFA website to check the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number.  If the application can’t be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. Please keep your GDRFA Application Number with you, as this may be required to complete your travel booking. Please also bring a copy of the GDRFA approval email with you when you travel, as you might be requested to present this.

Residents of other emirates please note,  if you hold a visa from any other emirate outside of Dubai, in order to facilitate return travel, you must obtain entry permission from the Federal Authority through uaeentry.ica.gov.ae.

Travellers are required to fill in a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking to confirm they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. Airlines have the right to prevent passengers from boarding if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Furthermore, travellers should commit to observing precautionary measures outlined by the countries they intend to visit.

International travel into Dubai (inbound)

Please note, from 1 August 2020, ALL passengers travelling to Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai from specific countries, must carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken in the country of departure, a maximum of 96 hours before travel. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability. You must bring a printed test certificate, a digital version will not be accepted. UAE nationals are exempt from doing the PCR test prior to departing from the origin station to Dubai, and will be tested on arrival.

Without a test certificate, travellers will not be accepted on the flight. The UAE government has specified designated laboratories. Travellers flying from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, must obtain a certificate from one of these labs. Travellers flying from any other country can either refer to the same list of recommended laboratories, or obtain a PCR test from any trusted and certified laboratories in their country of origin. A printed test certificate is mandatory, a digital version will not be accepted.

UAE citizens and residents

If you hold a Dubai residence visa and would like to return to Dubai, you must have government approval to enter. You can apply for this approval via the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website directly, ahead of booking travel. During the GDRFA application process, when asked to enter your Resident File Number, you can find this number on your visa under ‘File’. Check the GDRFA website to check the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number.  If the application can’t be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. Please bring a copy of the GDRFA approval email with you when you travel, as you might be requested to present this.

Residents of other emirates please note,  if you hold a visa from any other emirate outside of Dubai, in order to facilitate return travel, you must obtain entry permission from the Federal Authority through uaeentry.ica.gov.ae.

Please note that there are strict rules for travelling into Abu Dhabi by road. All passengers entering Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID‑19 PCR test result issued within 96 hours. You may also have to quarantine up to 14 days, depending on how long you have been in the UAE, please check with your airline of choice for latest updates.

Every passenger flying to Dubai is required to carry a printed version of a negative PCR test certificate (details above), and fill in the following Health Declaration and Quarantine Undertaking forms. Both forms also need to be printed, and completed ahead of travel, to be handed over to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) staff at arrival.

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 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 register your details on the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App (available iOS – Android).

If tested positive for COVID-19, passengers must isolate themselves for 14 days and adhere to all guidelines and measures outlined by the DHA. Returning residents must declare if they have health insurance or travel insurance covering COVID-19 or bear the expenses for treatment or isolation if required. For positive cases, quarantine can take place in a DHA approved hotel or private home, as long as this meets certain criteria. This includes access to a separate bathroom, the ability to live separately from others in the residence, and not living with anyone over the age of 60 or who suffers from a medical condition.

International tourists entering Dubai

Dubai is welcoming international tourists from 7 July 2020, according to Dubai airports’ official flight schedules and subject to airports being operational or any additional restrictions at the destination of departure. When travelling by air, tourists must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE. Valid international health insurance or medical travel insurance should be acquired in advance as a requirement to enter the country. All tourists must also undergo a PCR test with a maximum validity of four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure.

They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.

The airline has the right to refuse boarding at the airport of departure if COVID-19 symptoms are displayed.

Every passenger flying to Dubai is required to fill in the following Health Declaration and Quarantine Undertaking forms. Both forms need to be printed and completed ahead of travel and handed over to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) staff at arrival. All tourists should also download the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App (available iOS – Android) and register their details to facilitate coordination with health authorities if COVID-19 symptoms are experienced.

All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveller is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus. It is mandatory for tourists who test positive to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense. All positive cases should strictly adhere to the measures outlined by the DHA.

International travel from Abu Dhabi and other UAE airports (outbound)

On July 3, the NCEMA announced that all citizens and residents are now able to travel, in accordance with the health requirements currently enforced within airports and in accordance with the destinations’ regulations.

Travel between Abu Dhabi and other UAE emirates is currently restricted by the Abu Dhabi Government. If you are travelling between emirates to reach the airport, as of 30 June 2020, you must prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 48 hours before you’ll be permitted to enter Abu Dhabi. You must also present your booking confirmation or ticket if requested by officials.

In order to travel, and make a return to the UAE, The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has updated this procedure by replacing registration and waiting for approval, with automatically granting pre-approval without the need to submit an application. To ensure procedures can be completed with ease, the authority advises residents to update their private data (ID number, passport number, nationality) online at http://uaeentry.ica.gov.ae.

You must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel, and take the negative test result with you to Abu Dhabi or other airports. Without this, you will not be permitted to board the aircraft.

International travel to Abu Dhabi and other UAE airports (inbound)

Whilst in the destination of your choice, you must be tested for COVID-19 before you return to the UAE. You can do so by visiting a UAE approved clinic and should plan this well ahead of your return trip. You must present your negative test certificate before boarding the aircraft to the UAE.

On arrival, you must quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, even if your test is negative.

Whilst travelling abroad

A number of destinations worldwide still require travellers to head straight from the airport upon arrival into mandatory self-quarantine, as a precautionary method against the spread of COVID-19. Please make sure to check ahead with local authorities regarding rules for self-quarantine in the destination of your choice. When making a booking to a destination affected, our travel experts are here to support you with options and availability for long stay hotels across the globe that are in easy access to the airport or your final destination, and provide the features you are looking for, to ensure a comfortable stay.

Citizens must notify UAE embassies if they are infected with COVID-19 whilst travelling abroad. Residents and tourists will bear the costs of examination and treatment abroad in the event that they are infected with COVID-19, if this is not provided by the government in the country in which they are travelling to. Please check ahead of travelling, and ensure that you have international health insurance coverage, or travel insurance that covers COVID-19, before you go.

Fly Emirates for FREE global COVID-19 cover

Book a flight on Emirates with dnata Travel and you’ll automatically receive FREE global cover for COVID-19 related costs. This cover is valid for 31 days from the moment you take your first flight, and it covers you even if you travel onwards to another city.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst on your trip, Emirates will cover your medical expenses and quarantine costs up to a set amount per day for 14 days – absolutely free. You will automatically be covered when you book an Emirates flight. There are no registration forms to complete. Terms & conditions apply. Find out more.

Hotels in the UAE

As travel restrictions ease across the emirates, you may be seeking a change of scenery. See our latest UAE staycation offers, including UAE staycations for familiesUAE staycations for couples, and UAE staycations with private pools.

Our featured offers include free or flexible cancellations, and most importantly, the assurance that our hotel partners are open to the public at limited capacity, abiding by the latest health and safety precautions set by local authorities. 

Many of the properties we feature have been selected by dnata Travel for their enhanced hygiene policies, developed in response to the global pandemic. As part of our promise to you to go ‘beyond the booking’, every time you travel, please access our latest update on hotel chains that have initiated new protocols on hygiene standards, keeping guest safety top priority.

Please note, across the emirates there are differing restrictions with regards to the opening of in-resort facilities. Please contact us directly for the latest updates on the property and staycation offer of your choice, on 04 389 8999.

Travel insurance

Please make sure to check your travel insurance ahead of travelling. If you booked your travel insurance with dnata Travel and AIG Travel Insurance, or are looking to book annual or single trip cover, please refer to the travel insurance section on dnataTravel.com or contact us as per our details below.

Please note, due to widespread media reports of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, COVID-19 is a foreseen or known event. If you are purchasing a new policy with AIG, certain coverages may not apply. Please read the details here.

Visa services

Find out more on how dnata Travel’s Visa Services team can support you with any of your visa, immigration, Emirates ID or medical service needs. Also find on the aforementioned page a comprehensive document explaining our relevant services and how the issuance, expiry and extension of UAE visas has been impacted at this time.

Home check-in services

Start your journey in the safest possible way and check-in your baggage from the comfort of your own home with DUBZ and marhaba’s home check-in packages. Receive a variety of benefits such as Home COVID-19 testing, and baggage disinfection with long-lasting protection. At the airport, speed through immigration using marhaba’s fast-track service. There is a variety of packages available, so choose the check-in experience that best suits you.

Our refund policy

If you would like to change or cancel your hotel, flight or holiday package booking made with dnata Travel, please refer to the ‘My Booking’ facility on our website, speak to one of our travel experts on 800 DNATA (36282) or visit us in-store.

As a holiday company, we have multiple partners including airlines and hotels which have individual policies with regards to travel routes and/or cancellations. As our partners continue to review their policies, we recommend that you contact us to ensure that you have the latest possible information.

The current pandemic has left a lasting impact on the global travel industry and an unprecedented demand for cancellations has stretched the ability of travel providers to process this in a timely manner. Many travel providers worldwide have restricted our ability to process automated refunds immediately, including refundable tickets. We continue to do all we can to expedite such cases to support our customers.

To a large extent, airlines have tried their best to meet customer expectations by the way of some innovative offers, be it allowing rebooking of tickets with no penalties, extending ticket validity to up to two years from the date of issue, or offering a bonus on top of ticket value if the customer held on to the ticket rather than turn it in for a refund.

The frequent changes to rules due to the effects of the pandemic make it hard to collate all of this information in a single document and as such, below are links to the Rebooking / Refund Regulations of some of the major carriers operating from the UAE.

Further advice for travellers

If you still have questions, please contact us. Our Customer Care Centre is available every day.

Call us: for free on 800 DNATA (36282) if you are within the UAE. If you are outside the UAE, please call +971 (4) 316 6666. We don't use premium rate numbers so you can call for the cost of a normal call.

Email us: [email protected]


Visit us: dnata Travel’s retail stores across Dubai and the Northern Emirates are now open. Latest health and safety precautions are being taken in-store as per UAE government advisory. We look forward to welcoming you back in-store, see dnata Travel’s UAE retail store locations to find your local travel one-stop travel shop.

Please note

As we are in the midst of a dynamic situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic which is rapidly evolving, the information presented on this page is correct at the time of publishing (October 15, 2020). This will be updated on an ongoing basis.