COVID-19 Information

March 31, 2020

Country-Specific Information:

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 for the remainder of the academic year.  Sporting events, festivals, and large gatherings have been banned.  Religious services have also been suspended for four weeks.  Public and private spaces including all beaches, parks, swimming pools, cinemas, and fitness centers are closed until at least April 5.  Grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations remain open.

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.  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.  Visit the UAE Ministry of Health COVID-19 website for updated information.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced on March 30 that due to intensified sterilization procedures, only residents of the al-Ras area in Dubai will be permitted to enter al-Ras for a two-week period beginning March 31.  The UAE government confirmed that teams from the Dubai Health Authority will provide essential supplies to the residents of al-Ras.

The UAE Attorney General announced on March 27 that individuals failing to follow social distancing protocols or motorists with more than three people in their car may receive a 1,000 dirham fine.  Organizing or attending social gatherings, meetings, or public celebrations will result in fines of 5,000-10,000 dirhams.  The UAE Ministry of Interior clarified on March 29 that anyone displaying common cold or flu-like symptoms and not wearing a medical mask indoors is subject to a 1,000 dirham fine.  This is not an exhaustive list of possible fines.  Please see UAE official sources for full details.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention announced March 25 that the United Arab Emirates will shut down public transport and restrict movement during the course of a national campaign to disinfect public facilities, including roads, from Thursday, March 26 to Sunday, April 5 during the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

Effective March 29, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General Dubai will move to minimal staffing.  Consular Sections will provide the following emergency services to U.S. citizens: renewing expired passports or passports expiring within 6 months; processing applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad; and processing Consular Reports of Death Abroad.  U.S. citizens may request an emergency appointment through email by contacting the Embassy at AbuDhabiACS@state.gov or the Consulate at DubaiACS@state.gov.

Entry and Exit Requirements

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority suspended all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights for two weeks, subject to extension, effective March 25.  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.

The UAE has suspended entry of valid visa holders who are currently outside the UAE.  This includes holders of valid resident visas.  The UAE has also suspended the issuance of new visas, including visas on arrival, which American visitors formerly used, and transit visas.  The suspensions will remain in place until April 2 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.

Individuals affected by these suspensions may also contact the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship for further information:

-Mobile: +971501066099

-Landline: +97123128867 or +97123128865

-Fax: +97125543883 -Email: Operation@ica.gov.ae

Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advanced notice. Many travelers in the UAE have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

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.

Local Resources:

UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention

UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority

Other links:

COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov

CDC page on COVID-19

UAE Country Information and UAE Travel Advisory