Easier doesn’t necessarily mean better, but in the travel world we’re living in – easier can be good. After a successful tourism relaunch, Dubai is now softening covid-19 entry restrictions and allowing select visitors to test on arrival, rather than provide a negative test result before a flight to the UAE. With readily available testing at the airport and also even sent directly to your hotel room in the UAE, it’s good news for some.
UAE Eases Pre-Flight Testing
Germany and the UK represent a huge segment of visitors to Dubai, and now travelers from both European nations – well, European for now – can opt to test on arrival rather than arranging a pre-flight covid-19 PCR test.
In addition, lead times for pre-flight tests to Dubai from all destinations have been extended from 72 to 96 hours of validity, giving travelers an easier window to receive their negative test result.
With tests costing up to £150/$200 or more and requiring 24-48 hour return time, the margins were slim to successfully acquire a test, and made travel difficult to manage.
Emirates, the UAE, other nations and airlines have since partnered with Boots Pharmacy in the UK to access rapid pre-flight testing. This week, Boots unveiled a new covid-19 test which can be taken at local pharmacies and deliver results in just 12 minutes, though it’s unclear which destinations will initially accept its validity.
What about other countries?
If you’re planning to visit Dubai and the UAE from a country not named Germany or Great Britain, you’ll still need a negative test prior to departure, and maybe two tests total. It all depends on where you’re originating. For visitors from some US states, and about 50 other nations, you’ll need your pre-flight test, but will also need to submit to a second test on arrival in Dubai, Arab News confirms.
The list of countries from which a single pre-departure test is the main requirement to enter Dubai as a tourist includes…
Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives Islands, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand andTurkey. The USA is also included, but only for departures from New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago or Seattle.UAE
And if you’re coming to Dubai as a tourist from any of the following countries below, you’ll need a negative covid-19 PCR test before departure, otherwise you’ll be left off the flight, and will also need to submit to a second covid-19 test on arrival…
Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States departures from California, Florida, Texas, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.UAE
The new changes are already in effect, which illustrates the rapidly changing landscape travel presents right now. For many visitors, getting to Dubai just became a lot easier, particularly as Emirates continue to expand A380 service. For everyone else, it remains a rather straight forward option, where you’ll need to pay for a test before departure.
Be sure to always check official entry restrictions on the IATA/Timatic resource!