UAE to open up visit visas for all vaccinated tourists

Tourist visas for fully vaccinated travellers will resume on August 30

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Tourists from countries where travel was previously banned will be permitted to enter the UAE, provided they submit proof they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Authorities confirmed anyone who has received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved for use by the World Health Organisation will be able to apply for UAE visit visas from Monday.

Entry will require a mandatory rapid PCR test at the airport.

In summary, from Monday:

  • Travellers from any country can apply for tourist visas to the UAE
  • They must be vaccinated by a shot approved by the WHO
  • Proof can be submitted via ICA and the Al Hosn App
  • Passengers must take a rapid test at the airport on arrival
  • Previous rules for unvaccinated, including exempted categories, remain in place

The UAE originally halted passenger flights from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Nigeria in April and May due to soaring coronavirus cases.

Restrictions were eased in early August, allowing the return of residents who were stranded abroad.

However, only those who held a residency visa and were vaccinated in the Emirates were permitted to enter the UAE.

Dubai, which sets its own immigration and coronavirus rules, subsequently dropped the requirement to provide proof of vaccination.

The latest change opens up travel to tourists.

But authorities stressed the previous rules for unvaccinated, including exempted categories, remain in place.

A statement by The National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said the decision to open up visit visa applications for fully vaccinated tourists was “in line with the UAE's strategy to strike a balance between the interests of public health and sustainable economic recovery”.

The WHO-approved list includes the AstraZeneca, Covishield, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.

Tourists wishing to visit the UAE must register their vaccination first via the ICA platform or Al Hosn app.

Updated: August 29, 2021, 5:03 AM