India-Dubai travel updates by flight

There are many flights running between India and the UAE. Several airlines operate regular flights, most of which were stopped during the recent pandemic restrictions.

Presently, passengers need to follow all the guidelines set by different airlines for their safety from Coronavirus infection. Passengers are asked to produce their vaccination certificates, a negative PCR test report, and medical reports issued by valid authorities while boarding their flights. 

Air India Express has issued a series of guidelines for passengers traveling from any Indian city to Dubai International Airport by the flights of this airline.

Guidelines announced by Air India Express for passengers of India-Dubai flights 

  • Passengers need to have a valid UAE Resident Visa for traveling between India and Dubai. This visa should be issued from Dubai and essential even for passengers flying to Dubai from India. People can get the form of ‘Return Permit for Resident outside UAE’ from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). People can also get this form online and fill it up for submitting on the website of GDRFA.
  • People having Expo 2020 Visa need not apply for this UAE Resident visa again, for traveling to the UAE from India. 
  • All passengers should have the negative COVID-19 test certificate, which should be issued by a laboratory that is approved by ICMR. The QR code linking to the original test report should be submitted as well. This test should be done only 48 hours before the departure time of the flight of a passenger. 
  • Passengers need to submit a Rapid PCR test report, which is based on the molecular diagnostic test done for finding the quality of nucleic acid of the RNA of SARS-COV-2 virus. This test should be done at the Indian airport only 6 hours before the flight departure time. So, these passengers need to report at the concerned international airport 6 hours before the departure time, as the PCR test counters at the airports are closed 2 hours before the departure of international flights. 
  • Passengers should download the COVID 19 DXB Smart app on their mobiles before arriving at Dubai International Airport or other airports in Dubai.
  • UAE nationals need to undergo a PCR test only after arriving at Dubai airport. So, they need not bother about taking this test before the departure of their flights. If an inbound passenger is escorting a close relative of a UAE national, he/she is also exempted from this PCR test at the Indian airport. Domestic workers sponsored by UAE nationals can also travel without having this test done. However, these people need to travel on the same flight with their relatives or sponsors.
  • UAE nationals need to stay in home quarantine for 10 days if they are found COVID positive at the PCR test done after arriving at any airport of the UAE. They also need to undergo a PCR test again after 8 or 11 days spent in the quarantine, to check whether they are cured from this infection. They should always wear the tracking watch after arriving in Dubai or other cities of the UAE from India.
  • Indian passengers should also have the Arogya Setu app downloaded and installed on their mobiles while boarding the international flights to the UAE. They also need to upload their PCR test report on Air Suvidha portal, along with a self declaration form available there. They can also carry a printout of these documents uploaded on Air Suvidha website while boarding their flights to the UAE.

People should check the website of the airline to get the updated details on all COVID rules due to the new situation of this pandemic. 

Regulations for traveling to India from the UAE

India is now open for travel from all other countries, including the UAE. However, the number of international flights is still limited due to the prevailing COVID situation in various countries.

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced some new guidelines for passengers traveling from different countries.

  • The necessity of the PCR test is scrapped for people coming from 87 countries in the world, due to the extremely low COVID situation there. However, the PCR test is still mandatory for people arriving in India from Dubai and other cities of the UAE.
  • According to the spokesperson of the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, even fully vaccinated people need to undergo the PCR test after arriving in India from the UAE. Only children under the age of 5 years are exempted from this test. 
  • Passengers need to check the Air Suvidha website, to know what to do or not to do while boarding flights from the UAE to India. Different states have distinct rules for passengers arriving by international flights from the UAE and other countries.
  • Arogya Setu app is mandatory to be present on the mobiles of people arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. They should undergo PCR test immediately after landing at this airport and also they need to stay at quarantine for 7 days, irrespective of the test results.
  • People visiting the northern states of Uttar Pradesh or Uttarakhand need to provide an RT-PCR test report done only 72 hours before the departure of their flights. They also need to stay in quarantine for 14 days in these states. 
  • Similarly, other Indian states, like Assam, Maharashtra and Karnataka, also want passengers of both domestic and international flights to have PCR test done before 72 hours of their flight departure time. If anyone does not have this PCR test report, he/she will have to undergo this test at the destination airport immediately after landing there, at their own expenses.
  • However, people arriving in Andhra Pradesh need to undergo a thermal screening test at the airport and they should register on Spandana website. People landing at Chandigarh airport should register on COVA Punjab app, fill up a health declaration form, and undergo thermal screening. People traveling to Kerala also need to register on the Covid-19 portal of this state and obtain an e-pass before arriving here. 

People need to follow all these guidelines till now, for traveling to and from the UAE, though most restrictions are now relaxed.