With year-round sunshine and just a few days of annual rainfall, it’s no wonder Dubai is such a hit with British holidaymakers – 1.2 million Brits visited in 2019. 

a large body of water next to the ocean

© Provided by The Independent

Now that Dubai has started issuing tourist visas again, leisure visitors can finally return to the Emirate.

Here’s all the information you need to know.

Am I allowed to travel to Dubai from the UK?

The Foreign Office (FCDO) issued a blanket warning against all non-essential international travel in March, but this was lifted for a number of destinations on 4 July.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was not included on this list, but Dubai has been accepting international tourists since 7 July.

The FCDO advice doesn’t make travelling there “illegal” as such, but it does invalidate most travel insurance and may mean it’s trickier to obtain help from the British Consulate or Embassy if you run into trouble.

How could I get there?

British Airways and Emirates are currently the only airlines operating direct flights from the UK to Dubai.

The Independent found direct return flights from the UK with British Airways, for travelling in November, from £351.

However, you can find cheaper options by adding a stop over. Gulf Air offers return flights from £290, for example, with a stop in Bahrain. 

Alternatively, package holiday deals are available. Virgin Holidays is offering a package holiday departing London Heathrow on 16 November flying direct to Dubai and staying at the Hilton Dubai Creek for seven nights, from £856pp B&B including transfers.

Will they let me in when I arrive?

Different Emirates in the UAE have different entry requirements.

Visitors to Dubai will be required to complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form, which must be printed, completed and handed to Dubai Health Authority staff upon arrival. Visitors will also have to download and register their details on the Covid-19 DXB App.

Visitors must have international health insurance before travelling and must show that they have had a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken a maximum of 96 hours before their arrival. It must be a PCR swab test and other tests, including antibodies test, are not accepted.

Additional testing and quarantine may be required at Dubai airport.

All visitors to Dubai must adhere to public health measures issued by the Dubai authorities, including any requirements to quarantine.

Your passport should also be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into the UAE.

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive?

If you test positive for Covid-19, yes. Guidance from the Dubai government states that it is mandatory for tourists who test positive to register their details on the Covid-19 DXB app and isolate themselves “at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense”.

Can I travel within the United Arab Emirates?

Yes, but there are additional restrictions in place.

Abu Dhabi, for example, is requiring all visitors to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. They also need to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

Sharjah is testing visitors on arrival. Quarantine is required until the tests come back negative.

Are hotels open?

a large body of water with a city in the background: Dubai skyline by nightistock

© Provided by The Independent
Dubai skyline by nightistock

Yes, hotels opened in Dubai in May with social distancing regulations in place, such as socially distanced sunbeds.

Are restaurants, shops and attractions open?

Most shops, restaurants and attractions have now reopened. Major shopping malls, such as the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Outlet Mall reopened in April.

Public and private hotel beaches, major parks, cinemas, museums and top attractions such as Atlantic Aquaventure and The Green Planet are all open.

What rules are in place?

Face masks are mandatory everywhere outside your hotel room, even on the beach. Failure to wear a face mask carries a AED3,000 (£650) fine, with the same amount applicable for anyone not adhering to social distancing guidelines of two metres. Non-compliance runs the risk of being “named and shamed” with mug shots posted in local media.

Will I have to quarantine when I come home?

Yes. The UAE is not currently on the government’s Travel Corridors list.

Those returning from Dubai will need to quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival back into the UK.

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