UAE To Lift Ban On Transit Passengers And Resident From India

The UAE has lifted its transit ban on Indian passengers after over two and a half months. Moreover, UAE residents and select others will also be able to return to the country, subject to pre-clearance by authorities. The news will come as a relief to airlines and passengers alike, both of whom have lost access to a key market since April.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates has welcomed the decision to ease the travel ban on South Asia this week. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Ready to go

After months of waiting and anticipation, the UAE has officially eased its travel ban from India. Starting August 5th, passengers from India and other South Asian countries will be able to transit through the UAE for onward flights. The only requirement is that passengers show a negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours in advance and are eligible for entry to their destination.

The move will be a relief to thousands of passengers. Emirates, Etihad, and flyDubai offer one-stop connections to countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and North America, allowing for far quicker flights for travelers. With university travel season poised to kick off next week and a high level of general pent-up demand, these airlines stand to benefit.

Emirates A380
After months of carrying as few as one passenger, airlines will be happy to see travelers return to the skies. Photo: Getty Images

It’s important to note that India’s travel bubble rules continue to apply, which means connections to some destinations may not be applicable. Keep an eye out on airline pages in the coming days to find out the details once released. These rules also apply to passengers from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda, and Nepal.

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Back home

Yesterday’s announcement also included good news for UAE residents and those in specific fields. Starting August 5th, the following categories of passengers will be able to enter the UAE, subject to strict requirements and approval from the ICA. These are:

  • Residents vaccinated in the UAE at least 14 days in advance and having approved vaccine certificates
  • Students studying in the UAE
  • Teachers in educational institutions, such as schools, colleges, etc.
  • Federal and local government employees
  • Those with a residence permit and valid humanitarian concern
  • Those receiving medical treatment in the UAE
Etihad Airways B787
The new rules require several clarifications, including on whether vaccines taken abroad will qualify for entry. Photo: Getty Images

The rules come directly from the UAE’s National Crisis Authority, however, clarifications remain. It’s unclear if those vaccinated in India and abroad will be eligible to receive an entry permit. Secondly, it’s unclear if students and other non-residents visa holders will also have to prove vaccination or can enter under the testing rules.

Passengers will have to submit a QR-coded negative test taken 48 hours before departure. Moreover, airport testing and arrival testing could be a part of the process as well, with more details expected in the next day before flights restart.


The UAE banned travel from India on April 24th, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in the country for months. After several false starts, this week’s announcement is great news for airlines, for whom the UAE is a vital market, and those wishing to be reunited with family or returning to work. For now, keep following Simple Flying for the latest updates!

What do you think about the UAE’s travel relaxation? Let us know in the comments!