Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last Updated October 27, 2020
Country Specific Information on COVID-19:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the UAE due to COVID-19. To learn more, read here.
The Government of the UAE has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced screening and quarantine measures. The UAE has relaxed restrictions at malls, markets, and religious services. Individuals should continue to practice vigilance and wear masks and gloves, while practicing appropriate social distancing.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes. Tourist visas are being issued in all Emirates. Residents are permitted to enter. Please see below for additional information
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes. Please see the COVID-19 testing section for additional information.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
The UAE has relaxed some entry requirements. Currently, tourist visas are being issued in all Emirates. Visitors can travel to Abu Dhabi by road, but must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or negative laser blood test with results received within 48 hours.
Residents no longer need approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) to return to the UAE. Instead, travelers from all Emirates outside of Dubai must visit uaeentry.ica.gov.ae to enter their passport information and Emirates ID number. After providing that information, residents should receive a message allowing them to proceed with their travel plans. Dubai residents must receive pre-travel approval from the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigner Affairs. As this information can change rapidly, for more information, please contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). Dubai residents may contact the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigner Affairs.
Residents may now travel outside of the UAE for “general reasons” provided they adhere to the below requirements:
- Receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 96 hours of international travel for certain destinations
- Obtain international health insurance for the entire duration of travel
- Adhere to health regulations of the country they are traveling to
- Obtain a negative COVID-19 test result before their return to the UAE
- Quarantine upon return to the UAE
U.S. passport holders may receive a tourist visa on arrival, typically valid for 30 days. Please consult the UAE Embassy in the United States for additional information.
All travelers to the UAE must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 96 hours prior to their departure. Children under the age of 12 and those with severe and moderate disabilities may be exempted from the test requirement.
As the situation is rapidly changing, please visit official sources for the latest information. Further information on steps to take before travel can be found on the websites of the Government of Dubai and Government of Abu Dhabi. In addition, consult with your airline or the UAE’s national airlines, Etihad and Emirates for the latest requirements before boarding your flight. Airlines often request passengers to provide a copy of their health insurance (with coverage in the UAE).
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes. See restrictions below for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Dubai residents may travel abroad beginning June 23. Returning residents will need to request permission from Dubai’s immigration service. Please contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs and your airline for additional information.
Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes. Some quarantine measures are in place. See below for additional information.
Stringent entry restrictions remain in place upon arrival at all airports in the UAE which may include, but are not limited to, a Health Authority COVID-19 PCR test on arrival, mandatory quarantine period, usually via self-isolation at a private address if suitable or a hotel, for at least 14 days, and follow up testing before you are able to complete quarantine. Once any quarantine period is complete, you must continue to comply with all measures put in place by the UAE authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Travelers arriving into Abu Dhabi are required to wear a GPS bracelet for 14 days. Guidance can change regularly. For additional information about quarantine and travel restrictions for arrivals in Abu Dhabi, please visit Etihad’s website, official Abu Dhabi government sources, and official media sources.
The UAE government announced travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test result before flying to the country. The National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said all travelers, including Emiratis, residents, tourists, and transit passengers, must have a negative COVID-19 PCR (nasal swab) test result within 96 hours in order to board commercial flights to the UAE. Individuals entering the UAE will be subject to paying test costs.
The UAE government is testing many airline passengers on arrival and some passengers may need to self-quarantine at home or sent to a quarantine facility, at their own expense. Regulations may change frequently. Please check with your airlines and local media reports for the latest information.
There are media reports that the UAE has opened 14+ drive-thru COVID-19 testing centers in the UAE. Visit the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention for additional information.
On April 7, Dubai opened its first drive-through coronavirus testing center at Al Nasr Club. Tests are free of charge. To book a COVID-19 test in Dubai, call the Dubai Health Authority at 800 342 or visit Dubai’s Department of Health website for more information.
Abu Dhabi has also opened a COVID-19 testing center at Zayed Sports City. To make an appointment, call the SEHA hotline at 800 1717 or use the SEHA application.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
Most public transportation options are currently running in the UAE. Visit official sources for the latest information on public transport ii the UAE. The UAE is allowing additional airlines besides Emirates Airline and and Etihad Airways to fly in/out of the country. Please check with your airline or local media for the latest information.
Etihad Airways announced non-stop flights to/from Abu Dhabi and select designations in the US, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Additional destinations may be added in the future. Please visit the Etihad website for more information and to book tickets.
Emirates Airline announced non-stop flights to/from Abu Dhabi and select designations in the US, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Additional destinations may be added in the future. Please visit the Emirates Airline website for more information and to book tickets.
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. To avoid miscommunication on documentation or letters needed, and for ease, book directly on the airlines’ website.
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. government has no plans to organize repatriation flights from the UAE to the United States, as there are commercial options available.
Please see our flight information page for further guidance.
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 1000-100,000 Emirati dirhams. Please see UAE Official sources and media sources for full details.
The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General in Dubai are now offering limited appointments for some routine services including minor passport renewal, 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, ballot drop-off options, and emergency requests.
In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020, but will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. 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.
The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General in Dubai will publicize any announcement on the resumption of student visa interviews once information is available. The Embassy, Consulate, Secretary Pompeo, and our entire State Department team are taking this issue seriously and are seeking ways to ensure that U.S. destined aspiring and returning students will receive priority attention once routine visa operations can resume.
The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please request an expedite appointment on the visa system. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions.
Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation here.
Visit this link for additional 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. Visit the UAE Ministry of Health COVID-19 website for updated information.
Actions to Take:
- Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- View our COVID-19 FAQs for the UAE.
- Read the State Department’s Country Information for the UAE.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on state.gov for the latest information.
- Review the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.