All UAE airports withdraw requirement for pre-departure Rapid PCR test for those arriving from India with immediate effect

One of the most stringent requirements for those departing from the Indian subcontinent to Dubai and other UAE airports has been the requirement to do a second Rapid-PCR test just six hours before boarding the flight to UAE. This requirement has led to crowds at the airport and of course, people paying more than they need to pay for travelling to the middle eastern emirate, for tourism or earning their livelihood.

Dubai Airport notifies new requirements to enter Dubai

Till so far, arriving in Dubai from India and other South Asian countries had three medical tests required for it:

  • An RT-PCR negative test report (with a valid QR code), with the sample collected within 48 hours.
  • A Rapid-PCR conducted at the airport within 6 hours of flight departure.
  • A free on-arrival RT-PCR at Dubai Airport (and quarantine till you receive your negative test result).

As of February 22, 2022, these requirements have been changed, and the Rapid-PCR test at the airport is no longer required for departing to Dubai (it might be still needed for the other emirates). This information is based on an email alert sent out from the Dubai Airport management to travel agents.

a document with text and images

The requirements do not reflect on the Dubai Airport or the Emirates website just yet, but a pilot was conducted out of Kolkata airport a couple of days ago to this effect.

This has also been confirmed by Emirates in a trade bulletin sent out today.

a plane in the sky

The new requirement for arrival in Dubai, then, is:

  • An RT-PCR negative test report (with a valid QR code), with the sample collected within 48 hours.
  • A free on-arrival RT-PCR at Dubai Airport (and quarantine till you receive your negative test result).

Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and RAK are the other airports in the UAE which have removed this requirement. Here is a trade circular from IndiGo ascertaining this move for Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

a blue and white message

And here is one from Air Arabia which operates from Sharjah and RAK.

a screenshot of a phone


Effective February 22, 2022, 8 AM UAE Time (9:30 AM India Time), arrivals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and RAK will no longer require a rapid PCR test prior to boarding the flight from India. Only an RT-PCR negative test report within 48 hours of departure and an on-arrival RT-PCR test at Dubai Airport (free of cost) will be required.

Are you flying to the UAE on or after February 22, 2022, from India? Do share your experiences. 

(H/T Avinash Adnani)

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. There was a rapid test conducted for all arriving from Hyderabad. And they had taken the mobile number as well!
    Surprisingly wonderful is by the time we reached our local adress, we received the report.
    There was no harassment in anyway.

    • @Nagraj, that is not a rapid test, but a regular RT-PCR. Two years into the pandemic time to start learning the difference between Rapid PCR, Rapid Antigen Test and Regular RT-PCR tests. Secondly, it is not just for those arriving from Hyderabad, but everyone arriving from India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *