Travelling from the UK to Dubai or the UAE? Get up to speed on the latest travel regulations and PCR requirements right here.

What are the current rules and regulations for travel from the UK to Dubai/UAE?

International travel rules are changing regularly as the COVID-19 situation evolves. As such, this guidance is subject to change. Please check with The Foreign Office before booking your trip.

At the time of writing, the United Arab Emirates are open to tourists — with some restrictions. And it’s worth noting that different regulations apply for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere in the UAE.

If you’re travelling to Dubai 

As a tourist hotspot, flights to Dubai are running quite regularly from the UK. Follow the necessary COVID measures below, and your trip should be smooth sailing.

If you’re travelling to Abu Dhabi

According to the UK’s Foreign Office, visitor and tourist visas are only being issued by the Dubai authorities. That means if you need to travel to Abu Dhabi, you’ll need to fly to Dubai, come through border control there, and then travel on to Abu Dhabi by car. 

But again, there are additional rules to follow to enter Abu Dhabi, too (we’ll cover those in a minute).

Which COVID test do I need to get for Dubai and the UAE?

Testing regulations vary depending on where you’re flying to.

If your flight lands in Dubai

Travellers arriving to Dubai from the UK have two options. They can either get a negative PCR test result before they depart the UK or they can take a PCR test on arrival at Dubai airport.

PCR test before you depart

If you get a PCR test before you leave the UK, it needs to be conducted no more than 96 hours before your departure flight time.

You need to take an official, printed negative test result in either English or Arabic to the airport. SMS and digital certificates won’t be accepted. NHS PCR tests are also not valid for international travel, you’ll need to book your PCR test with a private testing centre.

PCR test at Dubai airport

Travellers arriving from the UK and Germany have the option of being tested at Dubai airport. 

If you test positive for COVID-19 when you arrive in Dubai, you may be asked to self-isolate at a government facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately-arranged accommodation.

Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities are exempt from testing, both before departure and in Dubai airport.

If your flight lands elsewhere in the UAE

According to the UK’s Foreign Office, there are no (or few) in-airport testing facilities elsewhere in the UAE. This means you’ll need to book your PCR test while still in the UK and get your results within 96 hours of departure.

What are the current COVID-19 rules in Dubai and the UAE?

Where can I travel within the UAE?

While you can’t travel to Abu Dhabi from the UK by air, you can travel by road once you arrive in the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s entry rules are very strict, though:

  • You’ll need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a test taken within the past 48 hours. This may mean booking another test once you arrive into Dubai, if you didn’t get tested at the airport.

  • All international visitors to Abu Dhabi have to quarantine for 14 days. You will be issued with a wristband, designed to alert the authorities if you fail to complete your quarantine.

If you are planning to travel to other destinations within the UAE, you should check local regulations.

What facilities are open?

Many hotels in Dubai, and elsewhere in the UAE, are open with social distancing measures in place. Most attractions — including shopping malls, restaurants, beaches, museums and parks — are open too.

Some establishments will do a temperature check before you are allowed to enter.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Face masks are mandatory everywhere beyond your hotel room. That includes restaurants and the beach. If you’re caught not wearing your mask, you risk an AED3000 (£650) fine.

Fines can also be issued if you don’t stick to social distancing rules, so make sure to keep at least two metres away from people not in your household.

Will I need to self-isolate when flying back from Dubai and the UAE to the UK?

Dubai and the UAE are on the UK’s travel corridor list, so you won’t need to quarantine on your return. That said, if you have any symptoms of coronavirus, you should act accordingly and follow the NHS guidelines for self-isolation.

Where can I get a Fit to Fly PCR test to travel to Dubai and the UAE?

As mentioned above, PCR tests provided by the NHS are not valid for international travel. You need to obtain a negative PCR test result certificate from a private clinic, like Corona Test Centre.

Book your Fit to Fly PCR test with us and you can count on fast, reliable results and all the right documentation for your trip to Dubai and the UAE.