Foreign travel advice

United Arab Emirates

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Summary

Travel to the United Arab Emirates is subject to entry restrictions

  • Visit and tourist visas are currently being issued by the Dubai authorities only. Tourists and visitors cannot travel to Abu Dhabi by air.
  • With effect from 1 August, all travellers to the UAE must have received a negative PCR COVID-19 test result within the 96 hours prior to their arrival. The test must have been registered and carried out at one of the UAE-approved testing centres. Travellers may also need to undertake a second test on arrival, and to complete a period of self-isolation.
  • With effect from 1 August, all travellers departing from the UAE to the EU and UK will need to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result within 96 hours prior to their departure. This is also a requirement for travellers to other countries that require a negative PCR COVID-19 test before arrival.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Return travel to the UK is subject to self-isolation requirements

If you’re returning to the UK, you will need to:

  • provide your journey and contact details
  • self-isolate for 14 days

Check the guidance on entering or returning to the UK.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to the United Arab Emirates, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Around 1.5 million British nationals visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Following the attack on the coalition base at Taji in Iraq on 11 March, and subsequent US airstrikes, tensions may be raised across the region. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

The UAE authorities announced the suspension of diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017. All air and sea points of entry between UAE and Qatar were closed on 6 June 2017. See Qatar

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the UAE. See Terrorism

If you’re planning to travel with prescribed or over the counter medicines for personal use, you’ll need to meet the UAE’s specific requirements for your medicine to be allowed into the country. See Medication

The UAE is a Muslim country. Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. See Local laws and customs

You can contact the emergency services by calling 999 (police), 997 (fire) or 998 (ambulance).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.