Dubai-bound Passengers Not Require Vaccine Certificate To Board Flights, Says Emirates And Other Airlines

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Emirates, the flagship carrier of UAE on Tuesday updates its guidelines for UAE residents traveling from India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.

The airline in its updated guidelines announced that Dubai-bound passengers from the above-mentioned countries will no longer require a Covid-19 vaccine certificate for entry into Dubai.

Revised Guidelines For UAE Passengers

All passengers with a valid UAE residence visa are allowed to travel to and through Dubai from these countries, provided they comply with the following:

  • Dubai visa holders must apply for pre entry approval through General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
  • Passengers must have a valid COVID-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours between the time of sample collection and scheduled flight departure. Only COVID 19 PCR test reports from certified labs that issue a QR code linked to the original report will be accepted.
  • Passengers must complete a COVID-19 PCR rapid test 4 hours before the departure of their flight. (Rapid antigen test will not be accepted).
  • Passengers must complete a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.
  • UAE Nationals are exempted from the above requirements but subject to COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai.

What Indian Airlines Said?

Indian airlines like Air India, Air India Express, and Vistara have also confirmed this update and said that they have to receive new guidelines from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) regarding the same.

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“Based on the new guidelines given by the DCAA, airlines need to look for only the return permit from GDRFA and two valid negative PCR reports. Airlines have not been asked to check the vaccination status of the passengers,” PP Singh, regional manager for Air India and Air India Express told Gulf News

Indian full-service carrier Vistara in a travel update also said “Regardless of vaccination status, customers will be welcomed on Vistara flights to Dubai.”

Moreover, a travel agent has also said that vaccination certificates are not being checked for allowing UAE residents to return to Dubai.

He further added that “We have been told by three airlines that passengers from India are only required to show GDRFA approval and two PCR negative reports.”

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Etihad Still Require Vaccination Certificate

It is important to note that Etihad Airways has still not updated its guidelines and as per their guidelines, those who are travelling to UAE on Etihad flights are required to show the vaccination certificate of receiving both doses from within the UAE.

Previous Guidelines

As per the previous guidelines, unless passengers fell in an exempted category, only residency-visa holders who got vaccinated in the UAE, and have vaccination certificates issued by the UAE authorities would be allowed to travel from these countries.

Therefore, if a resident received their two vaccination doses in India while being stranded there, they would not be able to travel into the country.


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