New travel regulations for passengers flying in and out of Dubai

New travel regulations for passengers flying in and out of Dubai. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 09 July 2020

New travel regulations for passengers flying in and out of Dubai

  • UAE residents and citizens can now travel to any destination as long as health and safety measures are met
  • Dubai visa-holders are not required by the emirate’s government or airlines to be tested for COVID-19 before flying

DUBAI: Summer travel in the UAE is set to soar as federal restrictions are eased, students finish school, and tourists return to Dubai.
However, Dubai has its own crisis authority and immigration service, and different rules from the rest of the country.
Travel regulations were updated last Friday by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
UAE residents and citizens can now travel to any destination as long as health and safety measures are met.
Before booking flights, Dubai residents traveling abroad this summer are being advised to apply to Dubai’s immigration service, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), for permission to leave, and also return to, the country.


Passengers flying with the Emirates airline will need to obtain a GDRFA number to book their outbound flight. Dubai visa-holders are not required by the emirate’s government or airlines to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before flying.
This is the main difference between Dubai and federal rules, outlined by the NCEMA.
People living in Dubai but working on a visa from another emirate, must follow federal rules requiring them to gain travel approval via the Tawajudi system. UAE nationals, on the other hand, should register with the Tawajudi system to allow communication with them while traveling.
Residents returning to Dubai will be tested for COVID-19 at the airport and will need to stay at home until receiving their results, which could take up to three days. If results test positive, individuals must self-isolate for 14 days.
Tourists visiting Dubai must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nasal swab test up to four days before flying at a hospital or private clinic in their home country and carry test-result documentation with them to the city.
Travelers with valid, recognized tests, and showing no COVID-19 symptoms, will not be tested in Dubai or quarantined. Those unable to be tested before traveling will be screened by medics on arrival at Dubai airport. Children will also need to be tested in order to enter Dubai.
Residents of Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates must apply to the federal government’s ICA/Tawajudi system for permission to travel abroad and test negative for COVID-19 before leaving Abu Dhabi or other UAE airports. Passengers who fail to present a valid negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of flying, will not be permitted to board their aircraft.
Once in their home country or destination, travelers will need to be tested before returning to the UAE, this requirement being the major difference from Dubai’s system which does not demand it.
When returning, passengers must show their negative test before boarding their plane back to the UAE and on arrival must quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, even if the test was negative.


French President Macron’s visit strikes a chord in shellshocked Beirut

Updated 07 August 2020

French President Macron’s visit strikes a chord in shellshocked Beirut

  • Emmanuel Macron was the first foreign leader to arrive in Lebanon after Tuesday’s devastating explosions
  • Mobbed by tearful Beirut crowds, French leader Emmanuel Macron vowed that ‘a free Lebanon will rise again’

BEIRUT: French President Emmanuel Macron stood among the ruins of Beirut's shattered port yesterday and issued a harsh warning to Lebanese political leaders, saying that aid would not be delivered to “corrupt hands.”

“Lebanon needs political change,” the French leader said during his one-day visit on Thursday, adding that he is “not here to support the regime or the government.”

Macron set the tone for his visit on his arrival at Beirut airport, saying that he would meet with Lebanese officials “only as a matter of courtesy” and adding that “Lebanon’s crisis is a moral and political one.”

Later he was mobbed by large crowds while touring the shattered streets near Beirut port, listening to the tearful complaints of people left homeless by the massive explosion two days ago that killed more than 150 people and injured more than 5,000.

People chanted and applauded as one woman cried in French: “Help us, Mr. President.”

A few young men said: “The people want to topple the regime,” while others said: “Down with Hezbollah.”

Confronted by a young woman who criticized him for meeting with corrupt officials, Macron pulled his face mask down and replied: “I can guarantee that this assistance will not be placed in the hands of the corrupt, and a free Lebanon will rise again.”

He held the hand of the woman who asked him for help.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut on Thursday, pledging support and urging change after massive explosions at the port devastated the Lebanese capital in a disaster that has sparked grief and fury. (AFP)

Macron promised “unconditional” French assistance, but said: “We will organize international aid so that it directly reaches the Lebanese people under UN supervision. I am here to launch a new political initiative. I will propose a new political decade during my meetings and I will return on Sept. 1 to follow up on it.”

He added: “I understand the anger of Lebanon’s people toward the ruling class, and this anger is caused by corruption. This explosion is the result of neglect, and I will help you change things.”

As crowds pressed forward to voice their concerns, the French leader delayed his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun for over 30 minutes.

A young man said after Macron left: “The French president checked on the Lebanese in the Francophone country — where are our officials? Why did they not come down here like the French president?”

Macron was the first foreign leader to arrive in Lebanon after Tuesday’s disaster.

Ignoring his bodyguards, Macron broke from his timetable to walk along the devastated streets and wave at people who stood in the remnants of their balconies to salute France.

The French president insisted on inspecting the area devastated by the explosion before taking part in any political meetings. On his arrival in the capital, he tweeted: “Lebanon is not alone.”

With the country facing economic meltdown, a currency crisis and now the threat of food shortages, the massive blast has left the Lebanese people stunned and even more fearful for the future.

Macron said that he carried a “frank and strict message” to the authorities amid Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis.

“If reforms are not carried out, Lebanon will continue to sink,” he said.

The French delegation accompanying Macron included seven explosives specialists. They were later joined by 17 experts searching for people missing after the explosion or buried under rubble.

While Macron inspected the damage at the port, an officer from the French rescue team said that “there is still hope for survivors to be found.

Crowds calling for political change surround the French leader during a visit to the Beirut port area. (AFP) 

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Hassan Diab joined the meeting at the Baabda Palace, while Macron avoided shaking hands with any official.

After the meeting he told a joint press conference with Aoun: “We want to know the causes of the Beirut port explosion.”

A meeting at the Pine Residence, headquarters of the French ambassador to Lebanon, brought together political and party figures including loyalists and the opposition.

At the same time Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt called for “an international investigation committee” to investigate the explosion.

“We don’t believe in the government in any way; we do not trust it,” he said.

“There is a gross failure of the judiciary and the security services, and we have absolutely no confidence in this ruling gang.”

Jumblatt said that “without Arab and international support, we cannot continue as a country, and greater Lebanon will disappear.”

He also questioned the likely cause of the explosion, saying: “This huge amount of ammonium nitrate came to the port of Beirut and remained there for almost six years. It does not explode even if it is toxic or explosive by itself — it needs a detonator.”

He described Prime Minister Diab as “a wolf” and “nothing.”

As the site of the deadly blast was cordoned off by the Lebanese army, rescue teams continued to search for survivors or the dead.

According to Health Minister Hamad Hassan, 80 people are still missing.

On Wednesday night, 36 search and rescue experts, including firefighters accompanied by trained dogs, arrived from Czechia. Six bodies were recovered from inside the port and another three from the nearby ocean.