Holidaying in the UAE

By | Category: Travel destinations

As destinations open up for tourism, some Britons will be considering overseas breaks over the Christmas and new year holiday periods.

Abu Dhabi’s corniche

Travel Counsellors, for example, have highlighted long-haul travel in their bookings as growing in importance ands the third most popular destination on their list is the UAE in the Gulf which, in normal times, sees about 1.5 million visits per year by Britons.

Why there is such an interest in the UAE could be because there has been fewer incidences of the COVID-19, a stringent and speedy vaccination process (nearly 80% of the population has had the full vaccination jabs) and the fact that it has opened up for tourism ahead of many other places.

The UAE might be one country but there are slightly different rules between, for example, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah the three most popular destinations for Britons.

For Dubai, which has already seen 2.85 million international visits in the first seven months of the year, you must hold a negative COVID‑19 RT‑PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. No other test will be acceptable for entry so it is essential that you have the correct test. NHS Covid Test certificates are not acceptable – you need to have a test result from one of the private companies. You will also have to register your details on the COVID-19 DXB App.

Abu Dhabi now has now quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers. But before you travel you will need to have taken a PCR test up to 48 hours before arrival and you will need to take a PCR test at the airport upon arrival and await the results before being able to leave. That should only take about 1.5-2hours.

Christmas in Dubai


You’ll need to take another test on day six of your visit. You must also register for the Alhosn app which – when completed – allows entry into attractions , shopping centres etc.

For Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate, you need the same specifics as for Dubai but you will also be entitled to one free COVID-19 test provided you stay more than two days.

one of the many forts in Ras al Khaimah

So if you decide to holiday in the UAE be aware you may be dealing with different rules in differing emirates and just like the rules of the four nations in the UK are different, so are those in the UAE.

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