At the Dubai International Airport. Picture for illustration purposes only.


New UAE travel rules for expats, Emiratis: All you need to know


DUBAI – UAE authorities have issued updated rules regarding international travel for expatriates and Emiratis who have been given a permit to travel.

On June 23, the UAE allowed international travel for UAE residents and citizens to selected destinations, but imposed certain conditions for travelers.

Salem Al Zaabi, acting Chief of State for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster in the UAE, announced the updated rules on Wednesday (July 1).

Here’s all you need to know

Who are allowed to travel abroad?

Those who need to travel for medical treatment, studies, business trips, work trips, diplomatic missions, humanitarian reasons and those who want to return to their home country.

Can I travel for leisure?

No. Travel for leisure and tourism will not be allowed at this stage.

Who are not allowed to travel?

People with chronic illnesses, anyone over the age of 70 (unless the trip is for medical treatment), and those who are infected with coronavirus are not permitted to travel.

Do I need a permit to travel abroad?

Yes. You need to apply for a permit through the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority (ICA) website. The permit will cost Dh50.

What documents are needed to apply for a permit?

1. If you are traveling for medical treatment: Emirates ID copy, residence visa copy, passport copy, recommendation from medical committee

2. Students: ID copy, residence visa copy, passport copy, letter of no objection by Ministry of Education

3. If you are traveling for business or work: ID copy, residence visa copy, passport copy, letter from employer proving work or training outside the country (for employees)

4. If you are traveling for humanitarian cases: ID copy, residence visa copy, passport copy, certificate proving illness or death of first degree relative

Which countries am I allowed to travel to?

You are free to travel to countries classified by the UAE as low-risk.

What about medium-risk countries?

Travel will be allowed to specific countries with medium risk but this will be limited to instances such as medical treatment, professional work, studies and diplomatic missions.

What about travel to high-risk countries?

Travel to high-risk countries will not be allowed.

Can I travel to another country after my original destination?

No. You cannot travel anywhere else that you haven’t declared in your travel application form.

What if I exhibit coronavirus symptoms?

Individuals with temperature more than 38ºC will be isolated upon arrival at the airport, while those with symptoms will not be allowed to travel.

Do I have to register with the government before travelling?

Yes. Emiratis and residents or expatriates with residence visa will need to register for the Twajudi service of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) before travelling.

Do I need to undergo Covid-19 testing before traveling?

Yes. You cannot travel unless you can prove that you are Covid-19 negative.

What are the other requirements prior to travel?

You need to take a PCR Covid-19 test within 48 hours of leaving the UAE and present a certificate proving you are Covid-free before boarding. You must also fill in a health declaration form.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. You must have international health insurance before you are allowed to travel.

Do I need to wear a facemask?

Yes, you need to wear a facemask and gloves, and should abide by the precautionary measures at the airport.

What important documents do I need to carry?

You must carry a travel file that includes your health status or coronavirus test result, and Emirates ID. You should also download the Al Hosn app.

What if I experience Covid-19 symptoms in the country I am visiting?

You must visit the nearest medical centre for emergency testing.

What if an Emirati tests positive for Covid-19 in the country he or she is visiting?

An Emirati who tests positive for Covid-19 during the trip abroad must inform the UAE embassy in that country.

What should I do before returning to the UAE?

You need to fill in a personal responsibility form through the Al Hosn app.

Will I be quarantined upon return to the UAE?

Yes. You will be asked to undergo home quarantine for 14 days, which could be reduced to 7 days if you are coming from low-risk countries. If home quarantine is not possible, you can opt for hotel quarantine at your expense. ICA/Expat Media

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