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Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General Dubai
April 9, 2020

April 9, 2020


Limited flight options to the  U.S. via Europe and Asia ending soon. Emirates and Etihad Airlines began flying on April 6 to a limited number of flights to destinations including London, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Zurich, Manila, and Seoul. Emirates announced that some outbound flights will cease operating on April 12 while flights to London and Frankfurt are scheduled to cease on April 19. Etihad-facilitated flights are scheduled until April 18.

U.S. citizens and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, wishing to depart for the U.S. are strongly encouraged to make reservations on these flights.  Commercial flights are available from these European and Asian destinations to the U.S.

Passengers traveling to the U.S. must show their onward ticket to the U.S. in order to board aircraft in the UAE.  You do not need a letter from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the UAE or a letter from authorities of the country you will transit to make your reservation.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate cannot assist with contacting airlines, arranging onward travel, or negotiating the use of funds from any pre-existing itineraries.  If booking tickets by phone, state clearly that you are transiting and that your destination is the United States.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate have no plans to arrange repatriation flights to the U.S.  There are no direct flights scheduled from the UAE to the U.S. on either airline.

Passport Processing.  Passport processing centers in the U.S. have limited passport operations due to COVID-19. If you previously applied for a passport or citizenship service, expect significant delays. U.S. citizens with expired U.S. passports who wish to return to the U.S. or families with newborn U.S. citizens without passports should contact AbuDhabiACS@state.gov or  DubaiACS@state.govto apply for an emergency passport. If all requirements are met, emergency passports can be issued within 48 hours. We will schedule normal passport appointments when the passport processing centers reopen. Please email AbuDhabiACS@state.gov or DubaiACS@state.gov for an appointment.

On April 7, Dubai opened its first drive-through coronavirus testing center at Al Nasr Club. Tests are free of charge. To make a required appointment, call the Dubai Health Authority at 800 342.  Abu Dhabi testing can be reached at 8001717. Visit the Department of Health’s website for more information or contact them at 8001717.

UAE Sterilization Drive   Abu Dhabi announced the sterilization drive in the capital from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Residents are requested to stay home during this period but may leave their homes to buy groceries or medicine without the need of a movement permit.

Dubai announced that beginning April 4 at 8:00PM, the sterilization program in Dubai was extended to 24 hours a day for two weeks, subject to renewal. The Dubai metro will remain closed until further notice.

Individuals in Dubai are required to request for permission each time they leave their homes, including for essential purposes such as buying food and medicines or getting tested for COVID-19.  An application for a permit must be filled out at https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/home before each trip.

All people leaving home should also wear a mask and gloves and ensure they keep a safe distance from others.

Actions to Take:

  • Enroll in the STEP program at https://step.state.gov/ to receive alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
  • Encourage other U.S. citizens to enroll in the STEP program.
  • Confirm the validity of your travel documents, including passports and visas.
  •  Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.
  •  For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  •  Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
  •  Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  •  Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in the UAE.
  •  Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.


U.S. citizens looking for options to return to the United States can email American Citizen Services at abudhabiacs@state.gov (for Abu Dhabi) or dubaiacs@state.gov (for Dubai and other emirates) or call the U.S. Department of State Repatriation Task Force at 1-888-407-4747 from the U.S. and Canada or +1-202-501-4444 from overseas.