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COVID-19 Information
22 MINUTE READ
September 7, 2021

Last updated: 09/08/2021

***Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States aged two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.  The PCR test commonly administered in the UAE is acceptable.  Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website  for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.  

Country-Specific Information

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Reconsider Travel Health Notice for the UAE due to COVID-19. To learn more, read the latest here.   The Government of the UAE has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced screening and quarantine measures and limiting large gatherings. Individuals should continue to be vigilant and wear masks, while practicing appropriate social distancing.

COVID-19 Testing 

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the United Arab Emirates? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • U.S. Citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test throughout the UAE at private facilities and official government health centers. U.S. Citizens are responsible for their testing expenses.
  • Test results are usually sent via text message or email and the Al-Hosn App.
  • More information on testing in the UAE is available at the following links:
  • Information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirement that all U.S. bound travelers present a negative COVID test is available here .  Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, email AbuDhabiACS@state.gov (those in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) or DubaiACS@state.gov (those in Dubai and the Northern Emirates).

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of the United Arab Emirates approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in the United Arab Emirates for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes, but only residents may receive it. The COVID-19 vaccine is not available for visitors.
  • Which vaccines are available in the United Arab Emirates?
  • There are four vaccines available in the United Arab Emirates for use on eligible individuals against the COVID-19 infection: Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, and Oxford-AstraZeneca.  Additional information on accessing the vaccine in the U.A.E. is available here.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines  in the United States.
  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccinations is available here .

Entry and Exit Requirements

  •  Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes.
    • Dubai and Abu Dhabi governments are issuing tourist visas. U.S. citizens may receive a tourist visa on arrival, typically valid for 30 days. Please consult the UAE Embassy in the United States   for additional information.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes.
  • All travelers from the US to the UAE must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within a maximum of 72 hours prior to their flight departure. Travelers should check with the airline for the latest information on COVID testing.  Post-arrival COVID testing is also required and regulations vary depending on vaccination status and the country from which one arrives; the latest information is available from official sources.
  • Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities may be exempted from the test requirement. Travelers should consult the airline regarding testing and travel requirements.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
    • Residents or visitors who enter Abu Dhabi from another Emirate must present a negative PCR test within 48 hours. If staying for more than four consecutive days, individuals must take an additional PCR test on the fourth day. Those staying in Abu Dhabi for more than eight consecutive days must take an additional COVID-19 PCR test on the eighth day. If using a DPI blood test, a negative result must be presented within 24 hours. If staying for more than 48 hours, a negative PCR test must be presented on third day. If staying for longer than seven days, another negative PCR test must be presented the seventh day. Individuals who do not comply may be subject to fines. See official government reports   for more information.
    • Residents and visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi who are subject to quarantine receive a wristband , which tracks their geographical location and movements, as part of the UAE’s effort to enforce isolation and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Abu Dhabi introduced a COVID-19 green pass system, the Al Hosn  app, on June 15, 2021.  It requires people to show their testing and vaccination status to enter public venues, including parks, beaches, malls, hotels, gyms, cafés, restaurants, and large supermarkets.  The Al Hosn app also facilitates contact tracing to reduce the spread of the virus.
    • Information on the Al Hosn app and how to download it is available here.  
  • Visitors and residents who received vaccines outside of the UAE may be able to register their vaccine by visiting ica.gov.ae  or by requesting a COVID-19 vaccine exemption. Information on exemptions is available here. 

 

Quarantine Information

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? It depends on the country from which one is arriving and vaccination status.
    • Quarantine requirements differ depending on Emirate, COVID-19 testing results, and additional government guidance.  Please see official guidance from Etihad Airlines  and UAE government sources on quarantine requirements in Abu Dhabi.
    • The United States is currently not a “green list” country. Passengers coming directly from the United States to Abu Dhabi must quarantine unless vaccinated.
    • Passengers arriving in Dubai may not need to quarantine, assuming a negative PCR test. Please see official guidance from Emirates Airlines  .
    • U.S. citizens are required to pay any related quarantine costs. Additional information on quarantine can be found via UAE official sources  . For information on quarantine restrictions in Abu Dhabi, see the Department of Tourism and Culture website  .

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • Masks are required while using public transportation. The Government of Dubai has issued additional guidance   when using public transportation. For information on public transportation options in the UAE during COVID-19, please visit official sources.  

Fines for Non-Compliance

  • The UAE Attorney General announced that individuals failing to follow rules and regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19 will face additional fines varying from 1,000-100,000 Emirati dirhams. Fines and regulations may change regularly. Please see UAE official sources   and media sources   for details.

Consular Operations

  • What ACS services are being offered?
    • The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General in Dubai are offering American Citizen Services (ACS) appointments for routine services including minor passport renewals, notaries, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs), and first-time adult passport applications. To schedule an appointment, please use the online appointment system for U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi   or U.S. Consulate General Dubai  .
    • Visit this link for more information on renewing adult passports from home and emergency requests.
  • What visa services are being offered?
    • Due to the significant challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, routine nonimmigrant visa services remain suspended. U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and Consulate General Dubai are only processing very limited nonimmigrant visas for the public, including B1/B2 Temporary Visitor Visas, for urgent travel only, such as travel for critical medical needs.  For F, M, or J student visas, appointments are available as needed to ensure that students can travel in advance of program start dates.  For instructions regarding scheduling and requesting expedited nonimmigrant visa appointments, please visit our website  .
    • Individuals with a valid or expired nonimmigrant visa, with an expiration in the previous 36 months, may apply by mail for a renewal of the same visa classification. Visit our online appointment service   to apply and pay the application fees.
    • U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi has resumed routine immigrant visa processing services on a limited basis.  Further information regarding immigrant visa processing at Embassy Abu Dhabi, can be found here.  
    • Please see these notices   which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
    • Previously-paid visa application fees (MRV fees) will remain valid until September 30, 2022.

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