Saudi Arabia travel restrictions: Emirates and Etihad limit passengers from Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The UAE airlines continue to operate between the two countries, but non-Saudi citizens cannot fly to the kingdom

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER photographed on August 17, 2015 from Wolfe Air Aviation's Lear 25B.

Any non-Saudi citizens planning to fly to the kingdom from the UAE will have to rethink their travel plans.

This is owing to Saudi Arabia's announcement that it is restricting entry to arrivals from 20 countries, including the UAE.

Emirates and Etihad have placed restrictions on all flights operating from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to destinations across Saudi Arabia.

Only Saudi citizens, diplomats and medical practitioners and their families are allowed to travel to the country after authorities announced plans designed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Emirates has updated its website to say that, with immediate effect, non-Saudi national passengers can no longer travel on flights from Dubai.

Passengers with a final destination in Saudi Arabia will not be allowed to board flights from anywhere on the Emirates network.

"Customers holding tickets with final destinations in Saudi Arabia will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Exemptions are diplomatic passport holders and health practitioners and their families," explains Emirates' website.

Etihad Airways to introduce restrictions later on Wednesday

The national airline of the UAE has placed similar restrictions on flights from Abu Dhabi to Saudi Arabia. These will come into effect from 10pm UAE time on Wednesday.

"Etihad Airways flights to and from Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam will continue to operate as scheduled, but entry to the kingdom will be restricted to Saudi citizens, diplomats, medical practitioners and their families only," Etihad told The National.

"Etihad is working closely with impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries and rearrange travel plans," the representative said.

The airline also mentioned that the situation is evolving, and that it would update guests as more information became available.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior said the suspension on entry for arrivals from 20 countries was “in accordance with the precautionary measures recommended by health authorities”.

The countries included in the temporary ban are Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, UK and the US.