Unlocking the World

Traveling to Dubai during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN Travel StaffUpdated 12th January 2021
Dubai has done startlingly well at keeping the virus in check
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on January 12.
(CNN) — If you're planning a trip to Dubai, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

Dubai reopened to visitors from August 1, though all arrivals must have valid health insurance and a negative Covid test.

What's on offer

Sun, shopping and some of the world's best hotels -- people come to Dubai to get away from it all. From incredible modern architecture to glossy beaches and high-end restaurants and hotels, this is a stylish blend of a city and beach break.

Who can go

Anyone normally permitted entry to Dubai can visit, even on vacation.

What are the restrictions?

All visitors over the age of 12 must have medical insurance and a negative PCR test completed within the past 96 hours by a nationally recognized body. You must show the certificate at check-in, complete a health declaration form before travel, and register on the COVID-19 DXB app. You must also have travel insurance.
Passengers arriving from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman can opt to take the test on arrival in Dubai, if arriving by air. This also applies to passengers from Germany and the UK who arrive before 8 a.m. on January 16, 2021. After this date, the option will no longer be available.
Passengers from 53 countries including Argentina, Ghana and Morocco must take an additional test on arrival. A full list is here.
Anyone showing symptoms on arrival must quarantine for 14 days at their own expense, unless flying with national carrier Emirates, which will cover costs for its passengers.
The air border to neighboring Abu Dhabi reopened December 24, though all arrivals other than those on the "green list" must isolate for 10 days.
Following an increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UAE in 2021, on January 12 the UK removed the UAE from its travel corridor list. This means travelers flying to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from the UAE will need to self-isolate for 10 days on their return.

What's the Covid situation?

Over the past year, the UAE has done a very good job of containing the virus, with only 711 deaths recorded as of January 12. However, there has been a very sharp rise in cases in 2021.

What can visitors expect

Masks are compulsory, as is keeping a two-meter social distance. Outside, you must wear a mask unless exercising, eating or drinking, in a car with your family or if you're alone.

Useful links

Our latest coverage

The UAE signed several mutually reciprocated visa-waiver agreements last year, helping the country place 16th on a ranking of the world's most powerful passports for 2021.
If money's no object, check out our list of the best experiences you can buy in the emirate. On a budget? Read about Dubai's multi-million dollar camel hospital or the world's shortest flight on an A380.