Dubai holidays: What are the latest travel rules for the United Arab Emirates?

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Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirate’s (UAE) most popular holiday destinations, attracting approximately 1.2 million Britons in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The nation spent seven months on the UK’s red list, with leisure travel banned, until the most recent traffic light travel update.

Now, the UAE is on the UK’s amber list for travel, which means holidays can once again go ahead.

However, there are varying restrictions for those hoping to visit the country.

Different rules apply to those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated when returning to the UK from the UAE.

Furthermore, the UAE and Dubai specifically have their own entry requirements in place for UK arrivals.

What rules are in place for the UAE now that it is on the amber list?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) no longer advises “against all but essential travel to the UAE, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”.

Now that the nation is categorised as amber, fully vaccinated Britons are able to travel from the UAE to the UK without facing quarantine.

However, travellers entering the UK from the UAE must be able to prove they have received two doses of a UK, European Union (EU) or US approved and administered vaccine.

They are also subject to a pre-departure coronavirus test, as well as a PCR test on day two of their return.

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Unvaccinated travellers face 10 days of mandatory self-isolation at home.

They must also take a pre-departure test, as well as two further PCR tests on day two and day eight of their quarantine period.

This is a major change, however, from when the UAE was on the red list.

Previously, only UK and Irish citizens or residents were able to enter the country from the UAE.

They were then required to spend 10 days (11 nights) in a Government-approved quarantine hotel at their own expense.

What entry requirements are there for Britons hoping to visit Dubai and the UAE?

The UAE has put in place its own entry requirements for travellers from the UK.

Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK to Dubai or Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test.

This must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure. The certificate must be presented at check-in.

The FCDO warns Britons these rules can “change at short notice”.

It adds: “Travellers to the UAE are strongly encouraged to check the specifics, including the time frames for undertaking COVID-19 PCR tests before departure with their airline before they travel”.

Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to take a further COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival and will have to isolate until their result is confirmed.

Passengers transiting through the UAE to a country that requires a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival must obtain a negative test before travelling.

In all circumstances, the test must be a COVID-19 PCR swab test.

Visitors to Dubai specifically will also be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form.

Both forms must be printed, completed and handed to Dubai Health Authority staff upon arrival.

Visitors must also register their details on the COVID-19 DXB App.

Health insurance is also mandatory for visits to Dubai.

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