Travelling from UK to Dubai – 2021 Updated Guide

30th December, 2020 Updated

If you are eager to know about the recent updates about travelling from UK to Dubai, this blog is packed with information that will help with your Dubai trip.

01

COVID-19 Updates

  • As per the Scottish Government's new travel corridor list released on January 11 2021 Dubai is no more included in it. If you are travelling from Dubai on or after 4.00 am on 11 January, it is mandatory for you to self-quarantine.
    Source : UK Gov
  • All air and sea borders shared by UAE and Qatar have been reopened on 9 January 2021.
    Source : UK Gov
  • Etihad Airways has explained new rules for travellers from UK
    As per the latest update from Etihad Airways, all travelers flying from the UK must show a PCR test with a negative result. This test should be taken within 72 hours before their departure time. Children below 12 years of age and individuals with certain disabilities are excused from taking PCR tests.
    Source : Khaleej Times
  • New COVID19 rules issued after Abu Dhabi's decision to welcome tourists from December 24
    UK does not fall under the 'green country list' so all UK travelers need to possess negative PCR test results (that have been taken from a government approved medical facility) and self isolate for 10 days
    Source : Abu Dhabi Media office
  • Self-isolation is not required for travellers returning to UK from UAE after 4.00 am on November 14, 2020.
  • ICA Approval prior to travel is a must for residents returning to Dubai.
  • Tourist and visit visas are only being issued by the Dubai Authorities. Tourists and visitors are banned from travelling to Abu Dhabi by air or land.
  • Individuals travelling from UK to Dubai can present a negative COVID 19 PCR test ( valid for 96 hours from test date) or do a PCR check at Dubai international airport.
  • Individuals visiting any of the other Emirates are required to have a negative PCR test certificate conducted within 96 hours prior to departure ( Emirate citizens are exempted). You might also have to undergo a second PCR test on arrival, wear a government-given wristband and self-isolate depending on your port of entry.
  • Make sure to get a travel health insurance prior to travel. If there is no International coverage, sign the Health declaration form stating that you have no symptoms and agreeing to bear all costs of quarantine and treatment if you happen to contract it.

Source: Gov.ukGulf News

02

Entry visas & extensions

Whatsapp Arabiers

Entry visas

Only the Dubai Authorities are issuing tourist visas as of now. As a UK passport holder you are eligible for a 30 day complementary on arrival visa with a 10 day grace period. This gives you a free stay in Dubai for 40 days, no visa required!

Visa Extensions

As a Brit, you have quite a few ways in which you can stay longer in Dubai. For more details read our UAE Tourist Visa Extension Options

  1. 1. Before the COVID19 pandemic, Brits used to extend their stay with an Oman visa run. This is a visa extension procedure where you have to drive to Oman border and re-enter UAE with a new free on arrival visa (40 days). Due to the prevailing condition there is no information regarding the Oman border crossing. You can contact Oman embassy +971 4 397 1000 / Oman police & immigration +968 24290942
    For a planned 60 day stay, an extension can be obtained on the 38th day of your on arrival visa with a 30 day prepaid tourist visa. This gives you a total of 60 days.
  2. 2. For a planned 80 day or 140 day stay, you can extend your free on arrival visa (40 days) with an inside country tourist visa (30 days or 90 days) and do a status change without exit. To know more,read our UAE Visa change without exit 2021 Guide

Overstaying fines

If you made a wrong calculation of your last date and overstayed, you will have to settle the overstaying fine during exit in the Airport.

03

Travel insurance

Majority of Brits travelling from different parts of UK to Dubai fly via British Airways or Emirates. Emirates offering covid insurance and is valid for 31 days from departure time.

The insurance offers the following

  • Complementary 24-hour support hotline
  • Any time assistance if you fly between 23 July 2020 and 30 December 2020
  • 89£ Quarantine cost per day for 14days
  • Global cover for all customers
  • COVID-19 health expenses up to 135,000 £

This insurance requires no registration, is applicable for every travel class and has a validity of 31 days from departure time.

You can find out more about the travel insurance for British Airways provided by Allianz Global Assistance.

If you plan on staying more than 31 days and require an insurance plan that covers all COVID19 related costs, give us a tinkle

Whatsapp Arabiers

The travelers age is a crucial factor with regards to the insurance options. Listed below are the packages on offer for incoming British visitors

Coverage Details

  • Area of Coverage: United Arab Emirates
  • Medical Coverage: 37,000 £ (COVID-19 Medical and Hospitalization Expenses up to 37,000 £ too)
  • Period of coverage will automatically be extended up to 10 days (UAE visa 10 days grace period covered)
  • Repatriation of Mortal Remains up to 18,000 £ - Excluding COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Quarantine Expenses up to 3700 £
Age Days Cost
Age 0-70 30 20 £
90 34 £
Age 71-75 30 30 £
90 54 £
Age 75-80 30 46 £
90 86 £

04

Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Travelling between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has been strictly controlled due to the COVID19 outbreak.New guidelines for entering Abu Dhabi – re-test on fourth and eighth day now required. If you plan on travelling directly to Abu Dhabi it's best to check with your airline.

Before the Corona Pandemic, travel between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other Emirates were easily possible without obtaining any visa or travel approval. The 7 Emirates make up the UAE and there are 3 ways in which you can travel between the Emirates; bus, taxi and private/group transfers.

Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
Bus

If you choose to fly from UK to UAE with Emirates, you can hail the free shuttle service from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The Emirates Coach service from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for Economy Class travellers holding a ticket operates at the following times:

Departure Arrival
10:00 12:00
22:00 23:59

If you are visiting UAE with a different airline, you will have to take the red metro line to Dubai's Al Ghubaiba Station and then get on an intercity bus (E100) to Abu Dhabi. The travel duration from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. You will have to spend approximately 1-2£ ( AED 6-8) for the metro ride and 6£ (AED 25) for the bus. There are no alternate bus routes you can take.

Taxi

If you choose to visit Abu Dhabi via taxi, the rates might be subject to change. An approximate duration of 90 minutes is required to travel directly from Dubai airport to Abu Dhabi. If there is traffic, then over 2 hours travel time is required. Taxi rates are subjective to your destination within Abu Dhabi and can sometimes exceed 60£ (300 AED)

Private transportation / groups

If you're visiting Abu Dhabi for a honeymoon, family trips or group visits we can organise private vehicles that suit the number of travelers ( car, bus, van, etc). Travelers having lengthy layovers in Dubai while travelling from UK airports can book a private tour to Abu Dhabi with us.

Whatsapp Arabiers

05

Local laws and customs

The UAE customs and laws are very different compared to those back in the UK. It's always best to get a good understanding of these before travelling to not offend or cause harm. Much care is needed when travelling during Ramadan or when visiting religious places. There could be some profound consequences to face for certain actions that might not be regarded as illegal in the UK. Educate yourself with these and respect these customs and laws for a trouble-free trip to Dubai.

Ramadan in 2021 is expected to begin on April 12, Monday and finish on May 11, Tuesday. See Travelling during Ramadan

Dress code

It's highly preferred for women to wear modest attire in public areas like malls and religious areas. Underwear should not be visible and clothes should cover the upper arms and legs. Swimwear is allowed in swimming pools and beaches. Cross-dressing is also illegal in UAE.

Alcohol

For non-muslim residents to consume liquor at home or in licensed venues they need to have a liquor license (which is valid only in the Emirate where the license was issued). Permits are also needed for residents to consume liquor in licensed venues. Liquor licenses are not given for non-residents in other Emirates but purchase and consumption of alcohol in licensed venues (clubs, hotels, restaurants, etc.) are permitted.

Tourists are given a document explaining the code of conduct with regards to consuming liquor in Dubai. They must state that they have understood, agreed and will abide by the laws laid out. Drinking or being under the influence of alcohol in public is a major offence that is punishable under UAE law. Many British nationals have been fined and arrested for unruly behaviour while being under the influence of alcohol. Transit passengers may also be arrested for the above stated scenarios.

Visit www.africaneastern.com and www.mmidubai.com

Drugs

UAE has zero tolerance for drug trafficking, smuggling and possession (even slight amounts) that may result in major penalties. UAE airports have modern technology to figure out even slight amounts of drugs, so any transmitting passengers carrying drugs may also get arrested. Ingredients like CBD oil used in certain skincare products and E-cigarette refills are illegal in the UAE. If you are caught possessing any such products, they will be confiscated and you will be fined. Visit the UAE Ministry of Health website to see the list of controlled, narcotic and psychotropic drugs, their permitted quantities and the necessary supporting documents to prove their use.

Source : Controlled medicine, official portal of the UAE Government

Hotels

Hotels in UAE usually take a photocopy of your Emirates ID or Passport, so don't freak out. If you're below 18 years, you can't stay in a hotel unless you are accompanied by an adult.

Offensive behaviour

Displaying affection in public is an offense with many people getting arrested for kissing in public. Swearing in public and rude gestures, both online or offline are regarded as offensive resulting in jail time or deportation. It's also advised to take utmost care when dealing with police officials.

Photography/media

Taking photographs of military organizations and government buildings are not allowed. Photography of people without securing their permission is also frowned upon. Many men have been arrested for taking pictures of women in beaches. If you enjoy birdwatching or spotting planes it's best to avoid doing it near airports, military installations and government buildings as many Brits have got arrested for plane spotting in UAE airports and have been detained for 2 months. If you want to take any videos, audios or photos for media activity, you are required to get the necessary permission from the respective Emirate authority before you begin. If you are caught carrying out the above mentioned activities without any approval you will be fined and subjected to imprisonment.

Here is the link for film/photography permit

Technical equipment

High tech gadgets like recording/listening devices, radio transmitters, satellite phones, binoculars or powerful cameras might need a license permitting its use in the UAE. Know more about this by contacting the UAE embassy in London.

06

Top things to do in Dubai

Sky Dive Dubai

1. Sky Dive Dubai

Take a birds-eye view of this stunning Emirate as you free-fall over the golden Arabian Desert or the unique Palm Jumeirah. Either way, you will be holding your breath out of awe throughout your entire experience with Skydive Dubai.

Visit Gold Souq

2. Visit Gold Souq

Dubai is also home to the world's most popular Gold Market, the Gold Souq. It's cobbled walkways are lined with window displays showcasing a mind-boggling variety of gold designs. You will definitely find something for your taste in this Souq.

burj khalifa

3. Burj Khalifa – The world Tallest Building

Another superlative under Dubai's belt of achievements, the Burj Khalifa is a staggering masterpiece that stands proudly with a height of 828 m. It's nothing less than a vertical city and is definitely one of the most recognised monuments of the World.

Dubai Mall

4. The Dubai Mall - World's largest shopping Centre (3.77 million square feet)

Spread across a land equal to the size of 50 football fields, the Dubai Mall's 12 million sq. ft houses a variety of shopping and entertainment options. Top attractions to enjoy in Dubai Mall are the underwater aquarium, a rainforest cafe overlooking the aquarium, an edutainment park, a haunted house and even an original display of a dinosaur fossil. Even if you are not a shopaholic, Dubai Mall will definitely be one of your favourites.

Burj Al Arab

5. Burj Al Arab - 7 stars hotel

Situated on an artificial island, the Burj Al Arab holds the title of the world's fourth tallest hotel. Inspired by the shape of a ship's sail, the hotel was opened in 1999 and is regarded as the world's only 7 star hotel. Expect to be spoiled with a fleet of white Rolls Royce cars, Gold touches in multitude of areas, VIP luxury and so much more.

Dubai desert Safari

6. Dubai desert Safari

The Dubai desert is one of the best places to understand Emirati Culture and experience a desert safari. Feed your need for adventure with quad biking and dune bashing or chill out with a cup of kahwa and watch a belly dance performance. Fly away in a hot air balloon at sunrise or gaze up at the twinkling stars as you bundle up around the campfire. No matter what you choose to do, Dubai desert won't disappoint.

07

Travel advice help and support – UK & UAE

If you are in Dubai and require emergency support from the government of UK, get in touch with the British Embassy in Dubai.

British Embassy Dubai

Al Seef Road, Bur Dubai
Near to Dubai Creek side
Dubai
Map – Click here
Telephone: +971 4 309 4444

In case of an emergency, you can call the following numbers

999 for Police
998 for Ambulance
997 for Fire Department (Civil Defence)
996 for Coastguard.
991 for electricity failure.
922 for water failure.

Coronavirus helpline

Call for help, information and services related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through the following channels:

Ministry of Health & Prevention at 800-11111

Estijaba service at the operation center –Department of Health – Abu Dhabi at 800-1717
Dubai Health Authority at 800-342.

08

Helpful tips

Plug adapter

The plug type that is being used in Dubai and all other pat's of UAE is type G. This has three rectangular pins that are arranged in a triangular pattern. The current supply voltage in Dubai is 230V and 50 Hz.

Weather

Dubai faces predominantly warm weather throughout the year with a summer and winter season. The lowest recorded temperatures are in January (20°c). The temperatures during summer months between June and August have averages of 30°c.

In a regular Dubai day, the city faces approximately 8 to 10 hours of sunshine throughout the year, so blue skies and warm weathers are a norm making waterparks and other outdoor activities a pleasant experience for all. Rain is a very rare phenomenon in Dubai which happens only a few days on winter months.

If you are very sensitive to hot weather and plan your trip around the weather, the best time to holiday in Dubai is between December and March. It's always advised to bring lightweight clothes made of natural fibers ( cotton, linen,etc) to keep your body cool even if you are outdoors. If you are traveling to Dubai in the winter season then pack a cardigan to keep warm during night temperature drops.

Weather dubai

Driving in Dubai

You can drive a rental car using your UK license in Dubai. If you are driving a private vehicle as a visitor make sure that you are also insured under the vehicle insurance.

Beach safety

Rip currents can sweep even the most experienced of swimmers out to sea. Swim only in approved beaches and comply to all warning signs, especially red flags.

Talk to a consultant now