Do I need a PCR test if I am transiting through the UAE?

Stock Dubai airport 2021
Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Transiting through the UAE? You may need to present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result, depending on the country you are travelling from, as well as the airport you are transiting at. While the pandemic has affected global travel, the UAE continues to be a transit hub as more and more destinations open up and travel restrictions gradually ease.

If you are transiting through the UAE, these are the current requirements for presenting a negative PCR test result. Please note that travel regulations are subject to change, and passengers should confirm the latest rules that are applicable with their airlines and the transiting airport.


According to the official website of Dubai Airports, transit customers must check with their airline and their final destination for specific requirements. When travelling from certain countries, transit passengers must carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before arriving into Dubai international airport, no more than 96 hours before their scheduled flight departure time, at an officially recognised testing centre. They will also be subject to additional testing on arrival.

Children under the age of 12 and passengers with moderate to severe disabilities are exempt from PCR test requirements, according to the website.

According to the website of Emirates Airlines, if you are transiting through Dubai from any of the following countries, you must present a negative COVID 19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, as well as following any requirements mandated by your final destination:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Angola
  3. Argentina
  4. Bahrain
  5. Brazil
  6. Cambodia
  7. Chile
  8. Croatia
  9. Cyprus
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Djibouti
  12. Egypt
  13. Eritrea
  14. Ethiopia
  15. Georgia
  16. Ghana
  17. Guinea
  18. Hungary
  19. Indonesia
  20. Iran
  21. Iraq
  22. Israel
  23. Ivory Coast
  24. Jordan
  25. Kenya
  26. Kuwait
  27. Lebanon
  28. Malta
  29. Moldova
  30. Montenegro
  31. Morocco
  32. Myanmar
  33. Nepal
  34. Nigeria
  35. Oman
  36. Poland
  37. Philippines
  38. Qatar
  39. Romania
  40. Rwanda
  41. Russia
  42. Senegal
  43. Slovakia
  44. Somaliland
  45. Somalia
  46. South Sudan
  47. Sudan
  48. Syria
  49. Tajikistan
  50. Tanzania
  51. Tunisia
  52. Turkey
  53. Turkmenistan
  54. Ukraine
  55. Uzbekistan
  56. Vietnam
  57. Zimbabwe

If you are transiting through Dubai from any other country you do not need a COVID 19 PCR test, unless it is required by your final destination.

Abu Dhabi

According to the website of Etihad Airways, you must have a COVID-19 PCR test before you fly to Abu Dhabi, even if you are just transiting. You should take your test 48 or 72 hours before your flight, depending on where you are flying to or from, as well as your transit time.


According to the website of Air Arabia, transit passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, issued within 96 hours of the flight departure time from an approved medical facility. Passengers below 12 years of age are exempt from the test.

You should carry a copy of your negative test result during the entire journey.