Note that Dubai residents are not required to get tested before their return…

There’s been a lot of confusion around international travel recently, with different rules applying to residents of Dubai and the rest of the UAE. One major difference is whether or not a Covid-19 test is required before returning to the UAE, if you’ve travelled abroad.

For Dubai residents, a pre-return test is not required. You will be tested on arrival at Dubai International Airport. You must then stay in your residence until you receive your test results. Read more about the process for Dubai residents here.

For all other UAE residents and citizens, before returning to the UAE you must take a test at an approved laboratory in the country you’ve been staying in, within 72 hours of take-off.

Over the weekend, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) shared its initial list, including labs in 106 cities across 17 countries. You can find the full list of certified laboratories here. The list will be updated periodically, with new destinations and laboratories added.

At present, the list of countries includes: Australia, Belgium, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

You’ll be asked to confirm where you are located, and whether you have a UAE resident visa or tourist visa. You’ll then be taken to a list of certified laboratories in your chosen location.

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Once you’ve selected your nearest clinic, you’ll be asked to register using your name, passport and Emirates ID details. A debit or credit card payment is required in order to reserve your appointment. You can expect to receive your results via email within 24 to 48 hours.

According to the NCEMA, if you are returning from a country that does not have any accredited laboratories, you will be tested on arrival into the UAE. You will then be directed to complete quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in an approved institution.

As rules and regulations continue to change on a regular basis, please check with local authorities prior to arranging any travel.