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CORONAVIRUS COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

This is information is current as of July 1, 2020

For all queries, we ask that you consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), and you contact us using our Contact Us form


United Arab Emirates

What international travel measures have been announced by the UAE?

The UAE Government and the Government of Dubai have announced new international travel protocols that apply to citizens and residents.

We advise those planning to leave the UAE to consult official published guidelines, and to clarify requirements for travel with your airline or travel provider. 

Residents returning to the UAE are advised to consult the published guidelines for the UAE and for Dubai, and to contact your airline or travel provider to check their requirements.  


How can UAE residents abroad return to the UAE?

UAE residents abroad who wish to return to the UAE must obtain permission from the UAE authorities. Applications for approval should be made through the UAE Residents Entry Permission service. From 22 June, there is a separate process for Dubai residents which is outlined below. 

An application to return can only be made once a resident has left the UAE, on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website (ICA).  The ICA advises passengers to wait for approval before booking flights, and that those who receive approval should enter the UAE within 21 days. 

Once approval is received, flights bookings can be made with Etihad, Emirates, or other carriers. 

The granting of permission to return to the UAE is at the discretion of the UAE immigration authorities.  Helplines have been established by the ICA, by telephone on 0097123128867 and 0097123128865.  The ICA can be contacted by email on  

Additional information is available on Etihad Travel Updates and Emirates Travel Updates


Dubai Residents

The Government of Dubai has published new travel guidelines for Dubai.

Holders of Dubai residency visas must obtain permission to return to Dubai from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Permission can be obtained through the airline or by applying directly to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). This link is only accessible outside the UAE.

Further information about how to book a flight is available on the Emirates Airline website.

Any queries on approval to return to Dubai should be directed to the airline or travel provider, or to the GDRFA.


What restrictions have been put in place by the government in the United Arab Emirates?

The Abu Dhabi government announced a ban on entering and exiting the emirate and travelling between its regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra) from June 2, which has been extended to 6 July. Travel between the regions of Abu Dhabi is permitted from 22 June. From 30 June, the Abu Dhabi government announced that entry to the emirate will be granted to those able to demonstrate receipt of a negative Covid-19 test result within the previous 48 hours. Applications for urgent travel can be made through the Abu Dhabi Police website. 

It is mandatory to wear facemasks in public and to adhere to social distancing measures. 

You should monitor local media and comply with the directions of local authorities.


What flights are in place to leave the UAE?

The UAE airlines are operatingflights to DublinLondon Heathrow and other European hubs. 

Emirates will operate direct flights from Dubai to Dublin from 15 June. 

Etihad will operate three direct flights per week from Abu Dhabi to Dublin until 15 July. 

KLM operate daily flights to Amsterdam with connections to Dublin. 

Air France operate three flights weekly to Paris with connections to Dublin. 

These commercial flights can be booked on the airline websites, by calling their call centres, or through a travel agent. 

If you are transiting through the UK and either staying airside, i.e. aren’t passing through immigration control, or travelling to a different airport to get an onward flight connection to Ireland, you must fill out a UK passenger locator form in advance of travel.  

You should be aware of the possibility of flight changes or cancellations and should contact the airline to confirm travel details.

If travelling to Ireland via another country, you should confirm transit rules with your airline, and you should have an onward flight booking to Ireland before seeking to board a flight in the UAE, as boarding may be denied otherwise.

If you are travelling to Ireland and plan to transit Paris or Brussels, please inform us by completing our Contact Us form as specific transit rules may apply.  


What documents do I need to travel to the airport?

From 30 June, the Abu Dhabi government announced that entry to the emirate will be granted to those able to demonstrate receipt of a negative Covid-19 test result within the previous 48 hours. Applications for urgent travel can be made through the Abu Dhabi Police website. 

Passports and flight booking confirmation should be shown to produced if requested by officials to travel to the airport. 


What requirements are in place for those travelling to Ireland?

The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to self-isolate for 14 days, upon arrival, and it is mandatory to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form to this effect. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.


What measures are in place for those returning to the UAE?

Permission is required for residents returning to the UAE - see How can UAE residents abroad return to the UAE? above.

Passengers arriving in the UAE will be required to go through thermal screening and may be tested for Covid-19. There will be a mandatory quarantine period of up to 14 days at home or in a designated facility. You should follow the directions of the local authorities.

Dubai Residents

Residents returning to Dubai should adhere to the new guidelines on travelling to Dubai from 23 June, and the travel requirements on the Emirates Airline website.


Can I transit through the UAE?

The UAE government has announced the resumption of some transfer services between Europe, Australia and Asia through the UAE. Please see Emirates and Etihad websites or contact your travel provider for further information.


Can I visit the UAE?

The Irish Government is advising all Irish citizens against non-essential foreign travel.  Anyone returning to Ireland, except from Northern Ireland, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

Entry to the UAE is currently only permitted for UAE citizens and residency visa holders who have received permission from the authorities to return to the UAE. 

Visitors to Dubai

The Government of Dubai has announced that visitors can travel to Dubai from 7 July. Information as to what visitors need to do before they travel and what will happen on arrival in Dubai is available on the Government of Dubai website.


I am an Irish citizen and I need to update or change my UAE visa status. Can I do this?

The UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced on 13th April that visas and entry permits that expired after 1 March 2020 are now valid until the end of December 2020. This includes visit visas, residency visas and ID cards. 

For residents it applies to those both inside and outside the UAE. For visitors it applies only to those who are still in the UAE.

If your visa has been cancelled, you will need to leave the UAE within 30 days or change the status of your visa to remain in the country legally.

If you have questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, or on change of visa status (e.g. From a Resident visa to a Visit visa) you should contact UAE Immigration – see the ICA or GDRFA websites.


Who should I contact in an emergency situation?

For emergencies involving an Irish Citizen please call the Embassy in Abu Dhabi on +971(0)2 495 8200.

• You will be asked to leave a message on the answering machine.

• Remember to state:

o your name,

o the nature of the problem,

o where you are now, and

o the details of how the Duty Officer can contact you (e.g. leave your mobile phone number, or the phone number of the hotel/hostel where you are staying).

• If necessary, contact the police also.

• The answering machine is monitored regularly, and the Duty Officer at the Embassy will contact you as soon as possible.

• Please note that the Duty Officer will deal with emergencies only.

• Any non-emergency messages left will have to be deleted to preserve space.


Ireland Entry Visas

I want to submit an application for an Irish visa. Can I still apply?

The Embassy of Ireland Visa Office Abu Dhabi is pleased to announce Ireland VFS Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait City will reopen on Monday, 22 June 2020. VACs will only accept “D” category long-stay applications from visa required nationals residing in the UAE and Kuwait.

Priority/Emergency visa applications will continue to be processed. Further information can be found here

Ireland visa queries may be sent by submitted via the Contact Us form at the end of the page. 


I am an Irish citizen in Qatar – can I leave?

Qatar Airways is operating flights from Qatar to Ireland and to other destinations.

We ask that you Register on our Citizens Registration portal -

If you have a query or require an essential service, please complete our Contact Us form. 

If you wish to discuss your situation, we can arrange to call you back.


I am a Qatar resident but currently abroad. Can I return to Qatar?

The Qatar authorities have advised all citizens and residents to avoid non-essential foreign travel. Since 16 March, non-Qatari citizens, including those with a Qatar residence permit, will not be permitted to enter Qatar. This does not apply to transit passengers, who will still be able to transfer through Qatar.

The Qatar authorities have announced procedures to facilitate the return of Qatar ID holders abroad between 1 August and 22 September. Qatar ID holders must receive approval to travel to Qatar in advance of booking their travel. There will be a mandatory quarantine of 14 days in an approved and designated quarantine hotel at the traveller’s expense. Further information can be found here


Will the travel restrictions between Qatar and the EU affect me?

Travel restrictions to the EU have been in place since March and do not apply to EU citizens or their family members, or to other exempt categories of travelers. 



I am an Irish citizen resident in Kuwait. Can I leave?

The Kuwait authorities suspended all commercial flights to and from Kuwait from 13 March until further notice. Land borders with Saudi Arabia and Iraq have been closed.

Qatar Airways is operating daily flights from Kuwait to Qatar. From Doha, Qatar Airways operates some direct flights to Dublin. Booking is through the Qatar Airways website.

A partial curfew is in place from 7pm to 5am from 21 June, and the full lockdown  still in place in some areas will gradually be lifted from 21 June. You should monitor local media and follow the directions of local authorities. The Ministry of Interior has said that those with flight bookings can travel to the airport during the curfew with a copy of their flight ticket. A copy of the flight ticket should also be given to the driver.


We ask that you Register on our Citizens Registration portal -

If you have a query or require an essential service, please complete our Contact Us form. 

If you wish to discuss your situation, we can arrange to call you back. 


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