Foreign travel advice

United Arab Emirates

Important COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.


Coronavirus: stay up to date

The UAE authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). On 2 April the UAE Government suspended the entry of all UAE residents returning from abroad and on 8 April introduced a new permit system for any resident wishing to return.

Entry is only permitted to UAE nationals and residents who have applied for re-entry online and have been given permission to re-enter with a unique reference code. This will be used to then book flights back to the UAE with Emirates or Etihad airlines. For full information, see Entry requirements

Inbound and outbound flights stopped on 24 March. As of 9 May there are limited flights operating to and from Abu Dhabi and Dubai and London Heathrow but these could be cancelled at short notice.

If you are a remaining British traveller in the UAE, you should contact the British Embassy if you are in difficulty. For details, see Return to the UK

If you’re visiting UAE and are unable to return to the UK, see Staying during coronavirus

Around 1.5 million British nationals visit the 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 United Arab Emirates (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.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.