UAE Loosens Entry Requirements For Vaccinated Foreigners

Dubai authorities have today shared that it will be relaxing entry requirements for citizens from India, South Africa, and Nigeria. Travel had been heavily restricted from these countries amid the pandemic. However, from June 23rd, there will be progress for those looking to fly to the emirate.

Emirates Dubai
There will be more passengers passing through Dubai International Airport this summer. Photo: Emirates

Easing restrictions

Those traveling from India need to have had two doses of UAE-approved coronavirus vaccines. Moreover, they must have a QR-coded certificate following a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure. They must also undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

Thereafter, they would need to undergo “institutional quarantine” until they receive their result, which is expected to be released within 24 hours. Notably, UAE citizens and diplomats are exempted from this step.

Passengers from South Africa will have to go through the same vaccine and testing requirements. However, there is no mention of an institutional quarantine here. Meanwhile, Those arriving from Nigeria just need to undergo a PCR test by labs approved in the African country 48 hours before departure and a PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Notably, they don’t need to be vaccinated.

For those requiring vaccinations, four vaccines have been approved in the UAE. These are Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm.

Emirates Airbus A380 landing
Those flying to Dubai from India must also have a valid residence visa. Photo: Getty Images

Keeping connected

Dubai is a prime location to connect across the continents. Therefore, many travelers from the three nations would be looking to transit here. Those connecting to other countries should adhere to the entry requirements of their final destinations.

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Dubai heavily relies on tourism, international workforces, and foreign investment across its industries. Therefore, it is undoubtedly keen to offer a balance to enable safe travel.

“The updates are part of the Committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on COVID-19 precautionary measures put in place to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing,” the Government of Dubai’s Media Office shares in a statement.

“The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said the updated travel protocols are part of a regular process of revising and optimising precautionary measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments. They are also aimed at enabling the city to continue serving as a global commercial hub and a bridge for travel and trade between the east and west.”

Fly dubai Air Boeing 737-800 Aircraft seen at the Krakow
UAE citizens are exempt from the pre-departure PCR test requirement. Photo: Getty Images

A focus on recovery

At the turn of the year, Emirates invested millions in informing the public that Dubai is open. However, amid another wave of virus cases around the world, restrictions returned across many countries. Now, the airline will be hoping that it can redeploy many more of its widebodies this summer.

The carrier is already now operating 90% of its pre-pandemic network, flying to 115 destinations. It also has its eyes on 124 cities by the end of next month. These health measures may seem strict on paper. However, they would still be much preferred by airlines and passengers than outright travel bans.

The UAE is also going for a flexible approach with different requirements depending on the country. For example, Emirates offers quarantine-free travel from several nations, including France, Mexico, Italy, Bahrain, Tanzania, Kenya, Turkey, Spain, the United States, Russia, and Egypt.

India’s pandemic tragedies were well-publicized last month, with daily cases peaking at over 400,000. Now, the cases have drastically fallen, with around 60,000 new cases per day. This update would have inspired Dubai to change its requirements for next week.

What are your thoughts about the new requirements for those arriving in Dubai from India, Nigeria, and South Africa? Do you feel that this is a good move? Let us know what you think of the update in the comment section.