We’re seeing the return of some big restrictions in Dubai…

As coronavirus cases continue to climb in the UAE, authorities are working to ease the spread by bringing back a range of Covid-19 rules in Dubai. Many of these measures were first introduced during the initial lockdown in March, when daily cases were significantly lower than they are right now.

To help you stay up to date on the major changes recently, here are the latest Covid-19 rules in Dubai that you need to be aware of.


On Thursday, January 21, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) issued a circular stating that all hotels and restaurants had to suspend entertainment activities, including DJs, bands and dancers, effective immediately. The decision came as the department carried out a number of field inspections within these establishments and found that the majority of violations took place while entertainment activities were in progress.

Dates: From January 21 until further notice

Private gatherings, social events and weddings

On Friday, January 22, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management issued a directive on the number of attendees at social functions in Dubai. Under the new ruling, the number of attendees for weddings, social events and private parties is limited to 10 people, and they must be first-degree relatives. This rule comes into effect on Wednesday, and applies to events in hotels and private homes.

Dates: From January 27 until further notice

Restaurants and cafes

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has also increased the mandatory distance between tables at restaurants and cafes to three metres (up from two metres). Group sizes are limited to seven people in restaurants (down from 10), and to four people in cafes.

Dates: Until further notice

Gyms and fitness centres

On Friday, Dubai Economy (DED) and the Dubai Sports Council directed all fitness centres and gyms to increase the physical distance between sporting equipment from two metres to three metres.

Dates: Until further notice

Non-essential surgeries

Last Wednesday, Dubai Health Authorities (DHA) stated that all hospitals and healthcare services in the emirate should cease any elective operations that “require deep sedation or general anaesthesia”. The suspension of all non-essential surgeries came into effect on Thursday January 21 and will last for one month.

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Dates: January 21 until February 19 

Quarantine for positive cases and close contacts

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced on January 6 that the quarantine time for mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 cases had been reduced to 10 days. This also applies to close contacts of a positive Covid-19 case. If you’ve come in close contact with a Covid-19 case, you must quarantine at home for 10 days.

Dates: January 6, ongoing

Covid-19 rules that are still in effect in Dubai

Face masks

You must wear a face mask any time you leave your home in Dubai. Failure to wear a face mask could result in a Dhs3,000 fine. This includes wearing a mask in shopping centres, while driving with people you don’t live with, and at the beach. You may remove your mask to eat and drink while seated at a restaurant table, and when you are swimming. You may also remove your mask while doing rigorous exercise. If you have a medical condition that precludes you from wearing a mask, find out if you can apply for a face mask exemption permit here.

Limit of non-family members in cars

There’s still a limit on the number of people who can travel together in a car in Dubai. Non-family members are limited to three people maximum, including the driver.

Passenger limits in taxis

Dubai taxis and limousines are limited to two passengers, who must be seated behind the driver. The exception to this is Hala Taxi Vans, which can accommodate four passengers.