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Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General Dubai (March 23, 2020)
March 24, 2020

Location: Throughout the United Arab Emirates

Advice: Please enroll in the STEP program at https://step.state.gov/ to receive alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.  U.S. Citizens in an emergency can call 1-888-407-4747 from the U.S. and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.  Consider encouraging other U.S. Citizens to enroll in the STEP program.  U.S. Citizens should confirm the validity of travel documents, including passports, visas, and other documents.  See below for additional actions to take.

Event: The Government of the UAE is implementing new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including suspending passenger air travel and closing shopping malls.

The Government of the UAE has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced screening and quarantine measures.  Schools and universities are closed until at least April 5.  Sporting events, festivals, and gatherings larger than 300 people have been banned.  Religious services have also been suspended for four weeks.  On March 22, the Government of the UAE directed closures of public and private spaces including all beaches, parks, swimming pools, cinemas, and fitness centers until at least April 5.  UAE health authorities are urging all returned travelers to the UAE to practice self-quarantine for at least 14 days and are also urging all residents to stay home.  On March 23, the Ministry of Interior and National Emergency and the Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urged UAE citizens, residents, and visitors to limit trips outside the home except for essential movements.  Shopping malls and retail stores will also be closing imminently but supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.  Visit the UAE Ministry of Health COVID-19 website for updated information.  Failure to follow all laws, regulations, and procedures the Government of the UAE has put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 could result in fines and jail terms.

On March 19, the UAE announced it had suspended entry of valid visa holders who are currently outside the UAE. This includes holders of valid resident visas.  The UAE also announced on March 19 it suspended the issuance of new visas, including visas on arrival, which American visitors formerly used, and transit visas.  The suspensions will remain in place for two weeks but may be extended by the UAE government.  The UAE government recommends that residents currently outside the UAE contact the nearest UAE diplomatic mission for assistance and information.  Diplomats are exempt from the visa suspensions but may face added procedures for entry. Expatriates already inside the UAE on resident or visit visas should consult with relevant local authorities on extending their visas, if necessary.

Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with no advanced notice.  The UAE Civil Aviation Authority announced on March 23 that it will suspend all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights for two weeks effective 12:00 am on March 25.  For travel inquiries, please contact your airline directly.  Alternatively, travelers affected by flight suspensions may contact the State Department’s Repatriation Task Force at 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada or +1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

On March 19, The Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Notice for the UAE. 

If you are a U.S. citizen visiting the UAE and you live in the United States or another country, you should arrange for your IMMEDIATE travel out of the UAE before the passenger flight halt goes into effect on March 25.

If you are a U.S. citizen residing in the UAE, you should avoid all international travel outside of the UAE as you may not be able to return to the UAE.


Actions to Take:

·    Enroll in https://step.state.gov/ to receive alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.  U.S. Citizens in an emergency can call 1-888-407-4747 from the U.S. and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

·    Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date 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.



The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai are open to provide consular services such as U.S. passport renewals and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.  Notarial services are suspended until further notice.


·    U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi

Embassies District, Plot 38, Sector W59-02, Street No. 4

+971 2 414 2200




·    U.S. Consulate General Dubai

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and Al Seef Streets

+971 4 309 4000




·    State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444


·    UAE Country Information


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


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