Dubai travel requirements: entry rules for UK visitors - and what are Covid restrictions in the country?

Dubai has relaxed its Covid entry requirements for fully vaccinated tourists

Dubai has eased its Covid entry rules fully vaccinated travellers just in time for the Easter holidays.

UK tourists who have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine will no longer have to take a pre-departure Covid test before jetting off abroad, the country announced at the weekend.

Fully vaccinated travellers no longer have to take a pre-departure Covid test before visiting Dubai (Photo: Getty Images)Fully vaccinated travellers no longer have to take a pre-departure Covid test before visiting Dubai (Photo: Getty Images)
Fully vaccinated travellers no longer have to take a pre-departure Covid test before visiting Dubai (Photo: Getty Images)

Vaccinated Brits will instead have to show proof of vaccination, while stricter rules remain in place for those who have not been jabbed.

The new entry rules came into effect on Saturday 26 February. Flights to the country from the UK are still operating as scheduled, despite the war in Ukraine.

Airlines, including Emirates, are avoiding the nation’s airspace and all UK carriers are banned from Russian airspace.

If you are planning a trip to Dubai, these are all the entry requirements and Covid rules you need to know.

What are the entry requirements for Dubai?

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK must show proof of a first and second dose on arrival in Dubai.

A booster dose is not required to be considered fully vaccinated.

Those who are unvaccinated can enter the country either with a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours before arrival, or with a medical certificate showing proof of recovery from Covid within the past month.

Printed or digital PCR test or vaccination certificates are accepted in English or Arabic and must include a QR code. SMS certificates will not be accepted.

Border staff may also ask passengers to take a PCR test on arrival, regardless of vaccination status, with travellers required to self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Children under the age of 12 and those with “moderate to severe disabilities” are exempt from testing requirements.

The UK Foreign Office is yet to update details of Dubai’s new entry requirements on its website, but Emirates has a handy page explaining the latest information for travellers.

Travellers should also be aware that other destinations in the UAE, such as Abu Dhabi, may have different entry requirements in place. More information on the rules can be found on the Foreign Office’s UAE travel advice page.

What are the Covid rules in Dubai?

Most shops, restaurants and tourist attractions are open across the UAE, but restrictions are in place to help limit the spread of Covid.

This includes social distancing and mandatory face masks in some public places.

On 22 September 2021, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority announced that it is not mandatory to wear a face mask in certain places while keeping a safe physical distance of two metres.

Face masks are no longer mandatory when exercising in public places, commuting in private vehicles for those who live in the same house, or at open beaches and swimming pools.

Masks are also not obligatory for people who are alone in closed spaces, or at salons and beauty centres for facial and haircut services.

However, those who do not adhere to wearing a face mask in the places where it is mandatory to wear it will be fined.

The UAE authorities have stated that any violation of instructions and procedures put in place to limit the spread of Covid will be treated as a crime punishable by law.

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