UAE Lifts Travel Ban on African Countries

The UAE has lifted the travel ban on African countries. Travelers from Kenya, Nigeria, Etiopia, Tanzania, and 8 other countries can travel to the Emirates again. However, they need to perform three COVID-19 tests to enter the UAE.

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As of 29 January 2022, the United Arab Emirates lifted the travel ban on all inbound and transit travelers departing from 12 African countries. The ban was introduced amid the emergence of the Omicron variant. 

Until recently, travelers who have stayed in one of these 12 countries within the last 14 days could not enter the UAE. Now, the ban has been lifted and the UAE recommenced flights with these countries.

12 African Countries allowed to enter the UAE

  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Etiopia
  • Tanzania
  • Republic of Congo
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Zimbabwe
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Mozambique
  • South Africa

The decision to lift the entry ban was made 48 hours just after Kenya had lifted the inbound flight ban from the United Arab Emirates.

Entry rules for passengers coming to the UAE from African countries

Passengers arriving from any of 12 African countries must perform three PCR COVID-19 tests before they will be allowed to enter the territory of the UAE:

  • 1st test: PCR test to be taken within 48 hours before departure
  • 2nd test: a rapid PCR test to be performed before departure at the airport
  • 3rd test: PCR test to be performed upon arrival in the UAE 

The first PCR test must be performed by the authorized laboratory included on the list published on the Emirates website.

When waiting for the test result taken after arrival in the UAE, travelers need to self-isolate until receiving the negative results

The same entry protocol also applies to travelers from Uganda, Rwanda, and Ghana.

Children under 12 years of age are exempt from the testing requirements.

Every traveler should also check the updated COVID-19 restrictions before going to the UAE. Some regulations may vary depending on the visited emirate.

Resumption of flights to the UAE

Representants of the Emirates and Etihad airlines are still waiting for specific details on the resumption of flights between the UAE and the 12 African countries.

From 30th Jan. Flydubai recommenced flight to Etiopia (Addis Abeba, 3 times a week), while flights to Tanzania and Zanzibar are to be restored on 16th February (twice a day). 

Electronic visa to the UAE for African countries

The United Arab Emirates has been facilitating the visa application process for many international visitors, including all African countries. 

As eligible for e-Visa to the UAE, they can apply for a visa entirely online and receive the approved authorization to their email inbox within maximally 3 business days.

e-Visa entitles to all tourism-related activities like exploring the Emirates, spending holidays, or visiting family and friends.

Since it is issued as a single-entry permit, it can be used for only one entry to the UAE. Its holder is allowed to stay in the UAE for up to 1 month.

Katarzyna Żyła

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