As per new directives issued by Emirates, there has been specific changes in the travel requirements for residence visa holders travelling to and from Dubai. Many restrictions were removed and rules liberalized to allow easy movement for the residents across emirates and to other nations.

Residence visa holders travelling to Dubai

These are the requirements to be followed by residents travelling back to Dubai.

No need for GDRFA approval

Residence visa holders no longer require General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) approval before returning to Dubai. During November 2020, there was wide confusion regarding UAE’s updated policies to exempt residents from the need for GDRFA approval, which didn’t include Dubai residents. Many people got stranded in the airport as a result of this confusion.

The new update clarifies any further confusions in this regard and allows residence visa holders to return to Dubai without getting permission from GDRFA.

Exemptions in COVID‑19 PCR test

All passengers travelling to Dubai from anywhere must carry a COVID-19 PCR test certificate confirmed negative not more than 72 hours prior to departure. (Exemptions: UAE nationals need to take a COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai airport only / Children under the age of 12 and passengers with disability are exempted from the test)

But passengers arriving into Dubai from certain countries are required to take another COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International airport. Also, passengers transiting through Dubai from these countries to their final destination should carry a COVID‑19 PCR test certificate tested negative not more than 72 hours before departure.

Residence visa holders departing from Dubai

These are the requirements to be followed by residents departing from Dubai.

  • Residence visa holders do not need prior government approval to leave Dubai.
  • Resident passengers will need to do PCR tests only if it is mandated by the country they are travelling to.
  • If you travel out of Dubai and return, the arrival procedures will apply to your journey.
  • Emirates has expanded its medical partnerships to offer exclusive home or office COVID‑19 PCR tests for all passengers.

It is important for all passengers to remain vigilant to latest updates on travel rules from the government, so as to avoid any difficulties during airport check in.