Dubai Authorities have announced that they are relaxing entry requirements for vaccinated travellers from India, South Africa and Nigeria effective 23rd June 2021. The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, headed by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced this update.
After 2 full months, Dubai is reopening to travellers from India. However, only passengers with a valid residence visa are allowed to travel to Dubai. This means that those travellers with tourist visas still remain banned from entering Dubai.
If you hold a residence visa, Dubai has set some very strict entry requirements for travellers. A individual should have received both the doses of a UAE-approved vaccine (these include Sinopharm, Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V). For India, this means only travelers who have taken two doses of Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca) or Sputnik V can fly right now.
Now if you have a residence visa and have met the vaccine requirements, testing is the next step. All eligible travellers are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before departure (UAE nationals are exempted from this requirement). Importantly, the test reports must come with a QR code that links back to the results in order to prevent fake certificates. Furthermore, passengers from India are required to undergo a rapid PCR test four hours prior to departure to Dubai. This means that passengers will have to arrive at the airport at least 5 hours before the flight in order to take the mandatory rapid test and complete all the other formalities.
Upon arriving in Dubai, passengers will have to undergo yet another RT-PCT test at the airport. The result of this test usually take 24 hours to arrive, until which passengers will have to undergo institutional quarantine. UAE citizens and diplomats are exempted from institutional quarantine.
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The new protocols allow travellers from South Africa, who have received two doses of a UAE-approved vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm) to enter Dubai. Passengers will have to present a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before departure (again, UAE nationals are exempted from this PCR test requirement). Likewise, passengers must undergo a RT-PCR test upon arrival. Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destination.
Travellers from Nigeria should note that they should not be vaccinated in order to enter Dubai. Other than that, all the other requirements remain almost same. Passengers must present a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours prior to departure (UAE citizens are exempted from this requirement). The negative PCR test certificate should carry a QR Code and the test must have been conducted by labs approved by the Nigerian Government. Passengers must also undergo a RT-PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destination.
The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, in a statement, said:
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 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.
This will be a welcome move for thousands of Indians who have been stranded due to the travel ban imposed in April.
Emirates, which is now operating almost 90% of its pre-pandemic network, has welcomed the update and it has announced that it will start flying eligible passengers from India, South Africa and Nigeria to Dubai starting 23rd June 2021.
What do you think of Dubai loosening entry requirements for travellers from India, South Africa and Nigeria? Do you think this is a good decision? Let me know in the comments section below.