Friday 22 October 2021
Returning to Dubai during Covid-19: What UAE residents must know
March 15, 2021 | By - Nazeem Beegum Rahuman

Returning to Dubai during Covid-19: What UAE residents must know

Dubai has eased restrictions on travellers and started welcoming them back in July 2020. However, the new normal guidelines for residents are slightly different from tourists in the city, the host of the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020.

Who is a resident of the UAE?

Any foreign nationality holding employment or dependency visas fall under the category of residents in the UAE. In other words, expatriates holding residence permit are called Residents of UAE. This can be obtained by getting an employment visa, or as investors or as owners of freehold properties.

What are the revised Covid-19 rules for Dubai residents?

All expatriate residents returning to the UAE are now required to present a negative result of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken before 72 hours of their departure, along with an approval from the General Department for Residency & Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai. On arrival at the Dubai airport, the residents will undergo another PCR test to ensure they are free from coronavirus and will have to go for one-day quarantine in a hotel or their apartment. Passengers must bear the expense for the Covid-19 test. The residents are also required to download Covid-19 DXB smart app on their phones in the new normal rules during the pandemic.


However, UAE residents and children with severe disabilities are exempted from carrying mandatory PCR test report. But, the UAE citizens are required to get their PCR done at the airport on arrival from a foreign nation.

What can you expect on arrival in Dubai?

You may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel or residence until you receive the test result. The negative COVID-19 certificates must be printed in English or Arabic. No handwritten, SMS or digital certificates will be accepted. If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.


If a traveller shows Covid-19 symptoms on arrival a second test will be required at the airport. Depending upon the severity of symptoms, those who tested positive in the second test could be sent back to their home country or the boarding destination.

How much does the test cost?

The test costs AED 150 per person which the traveller has to bear the expense. Home or office testing within Dubai for a minimum of two passengers is also available at AED 240 per person. Test results will be available within 24 hours.

Who should go for quarantine?

All residents must go for a one-day quarantine soon after the arrival. If you test positive in the PCR test at Dubai airport, they are required to go for a 7-day quarantine. If you test negative, you can start going to work from the very same day. If you are living in sharing accommodation, make sure you have a separate toilet to use. Or else, you should move to a hotel apartment, and avoid a fine for violating Covid-19 rules.


Fine for violating quarantine rule

Authorities will slap a fine of Dh50,000 on violators of Covid-19 precautionary measures. Also note, there is no quarantine for asymptomatic visitors arriving on a tourist visa.

PCR test report is mandatory for residents arriving from these countries

AfghanistanCroatiaGeorgiaIraqMoldovaPhilippinesSouth AfricaTunisia
ArgentinaCzech RepublicGuineaIvory CoastMoroccoRwandaSouth SudanTurkmenistan

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