Travel regulations for UAE families flying out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi for half term

Plan ahead for the October holiday

Travel regulations for UAE families flying out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi for half term

We know kids in the UAE have only just gone back to school, but the October half term will be here before you know it.

And in the current climate, if you're considering a family escape outside of the country, it's crucial to be prepared.

Not only do the rules and regulations on travel change regularly to keep up with global guidance, there may be different precautions and expectations in place in Dubai, which has its own crisis authority and immigration service to the ones enforced in the rest of the country.

Destination options are opening up all the time as the airlines add more flights to their schedules, but it's important to know what procedures you and your family need to follow in order to be allowed out, and back in, without any hassle.

So have a quick read of our comprehensive guide for UAE residents, to help make your holiday departure and return a little bit smoother because, let's face it, travelling with kids is a minefield at the best of times!

Departure from Dubai

Dubai residents don't need approval to leave the country. A swab test must be carried within 96 hours of departure for all passengers with the exception of children under 12 and those with moderate to severe disabilities. The results certificate must be presented at check in.

Dubai Terminal 3's smart gates will only scan passports and not Emirates ID cards. It is imperative that you check the requirements for arrival in your destination.

Arrival into Dubai

* Dubai resident families will need to obtain approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs at or via Emirates, before they return to Dubai. The exception of residents of other emirates flying into Dubai.

Once the application is approved, a GDRFA reference number will be emailed.

All passengers must also show a printout (SMS and digital certificates are not accepted) of a negative swab test taken within 96 hours of departure as failure to do so will result in them not being allowed on the plane.

Depending on where you are flying from, you may be asked to take a second swab on arrival at Dubai Airport.

Departure from Abu Dhabi

* A PCR swab test is a mandatory requirements for all passengers flying out of Abu Dhabi on Etihard Airways. The test must be carried out 96 hours prior to departure and passengers will only be allowed to board the flight if they produce a negative test result.

Arrival into Abu Dhabi

* UAE residents do not need to apply for government approval to return to the country.

Residents of Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates (Excluding Dubai) need to register with the ICA and have a negative COVID-19 test result within 96 hours of arriving in the city.

Residents will undergo another COVID-19 test upon arrival in Abu Dhabi and will be expected to quarantine for two weeks.

Dubai residents, at this time, still need to apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) for approval to return to any airport in the UAE.

But what about if you want to stay in the UAE this half term to take advantage of the glorious weather, but are hoping that family and friends may be able to fly into the emirates from another country to join you for a beach day or some al fresco dining?

Tourists are currently allowed to travel to Dubai and in order to do so must take a PCR swab test within 96 hours of departure. They then need to carry a hard copy of the results (SMS and digital versions are not accepted).

Some passengers may need to take a test on arrival, depending on where they are coming from, and those who do will need to quarantine in their hotel until they receive the result.

If they test positive, they will be expected to isolate and follow the DHA guidelines.

It is mandatory for tourists flying into Dubai to download the Covid-19 – DXB Smart App.

Tourists to Abu Dhabi

* Tourists are currently not able to fly to Abu Dhabi, arrivals at Abu Dhabi International Airport should be residents or those coming for work with visa applications in progress.

Those wishing to travel to Abu Dhabi for tourism will have to wait until official announcement is made welcoming back visitors to the UAE capital.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 travel requirements may change at short notice, and travellers 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.

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