Planning an overseas trip this summer? Read this before you book your flights…

With travel restrictions easing for Dubai residents, you might be thinking about taking an overseas holiday this summer. But before you go ahead and book your return flights, you’ll need to seek approval from Dubai’s immigration service, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), in order to return to Dubai.

Emirates outlines the process on its website. It states that all Dubai residents must apply for approval to return to Dubai, “whether you are returning after the travel restrictions or you want to fly out of Dubai and return.”

To apply for permission, you’ll have to fill in this form for a Return Permit for Resident Outside UAE. You will need to enter your Resident File Number, which can be found on your visa under ‘File’.

Once your application is approved, GDRFA will email you a reference number. You’ll need to use this number when booking your flights online or via a travel agent.

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Once you’ve received approval, it’s vital that you check the local travel requirements of the destination you wish to travel to.

Returning to Dubai

  • While you don’t need to take a Covid-19 test prior to leaving Dubai (unless your destination requires it), you will need to take one when you re-enter the country.
  • You must have GDRFA approval to return (see above), and bring a copy of the approval email with you.
  • Print out and complete this health declaration form and quarantine undertaking form. Hand these over to Dubai Health Authority staff on your arrival at Dubai.
  • Take a PCR (Covid-19) test upon arrival in Dubai, then remain in your residence until you get the results. If you test positive, you’ll have to be quarantined, either in your home or an approved hotel.
  • Download the Covid-19 – DXB Smart App, available for iOS and Android.
  • At check-in, you’ll have to declare whether you have health insurance that will cover any costs for treatment or quarantine.

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