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Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General Dubai
April 7, 2020

April 7, 2020            


U.S. Department of State passport processing centers in the United States are currently unable to process new full-validity passport applications. 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 continue to contact abudhabiacs@state.gov to apply for an emergency passport. If all requirements are met, emergency passports can be issued within 48 hours. We will continue to schedule normal passport appointments to be processed when the passport processing centers in the United States reopen. Please email abudhabiacs@state.govfor an appointment.

Flight options to the United States via Europe and Asia now available.  Emirates and Etihad Airlines have begun flying a limited number of outbound-only passenger flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to destinations including London, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels Zurich, Manila, and  Seoul.  U.S. citizens and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, especially tourists or temporary visitors in the UAE, wishing to depart for the United States are strongly encouraged to make reservations on these flights.  Commercial flights are available from these European and Asian destinations to the United States for U.S. citizens and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents.  Passengers traveling to the United States MUST show their onward ticket to the U.S. in order to board aircraft in the UAE.  If you wish to travel to the U.S., we suggest making reservations from the UAE online or through the airlines’ Apps.  You do not need a letter from any 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 U.S.

Presently, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate are not organizing any charter repatriation flights to the United States. The Emirates and Etihad Airlines flights are current options to fly back to the United States.  There are no direct flights scheduled from the UAE to the United States on either airline.

The Abu Dhabi Media Office on April 6 announced timings for the sterilization drive in the capital from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM in residential areas. Residents are requested to stay home during this period.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced that beginning April 4 at 8:00 PM, the sterilization program in Dubai will be 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 by vehicle, by bicycle or on foot, 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.

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and health updates.