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CORONAVIRUS COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

This is information is current as of Monday, April 6th, 2020

The Embassy continues to operate for essential services, but is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

For all queries, we ask that you consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), and you can email us on Embassy.AbuDhabi@dfa.ie

 

United Arab Emirates

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

The Government has asked the public to stay at home unless it is necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform essential jobs.

The UAE has announced that all shopping malls and commercial centres will close from 24th March. However, pharmacies, grocery stores and supermarkets will remain open.

The UAE’s national disinfection programme is in operation between the hours of 8pm and 6am. You should monitor local media and comply with the directions of local authorities.

In Dubai, only one person per household is allowed to go out for essential purchases. A movement permit is required for each journey outside the home using a private car – https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/home. A UAE mobile number is required.

 

What flight restrictions have been announced for the UAE and when will flights resume?

On 23rd March, the UAE announced the suspension of all passenger and transfer flights, taking effect within 48 hours.


The UAE authorities have decided to temporarily allow some flights to facilitate the repatriation of residents and visitors wishing to leave the country from 5 April. Those wishing to leave should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible as it is not clear how long these repatriation flights will operate.

Booking for repatriation flights is through Etihad and Emirates. You should contact the airlines (see links) or travel provider for information on booking or rescheduling flights.

It will be necessary to book connecting flights to get to Ireland. You should be aware of the possibility of flight changes or cancellations and should contact the airline to confirm travel details.

There is no information at present on when direct flights to Dublin will resume.

 

Can I transit through the UAE?

All transits through UAE airports are also suspended from 25th March.   Please contact your airline for up to date flight information.

 

I am an Irish citizen on holidays in the UAE. Will I be able to return home?

The UAE authorities have decided to temporarily allow some flights to facilitate the repatriation of residents and visitors wishing to leave the country from 5 April. Those wishing to leave should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible as it is not clear how long these repatriation flights will operate. 

Booking for these flights is through Etihad and Emirates. You should contact the airlines (see links) or travel provider for information on booking or rescheduling flights.

 

Will there be flights for Irish citizens who need to leave the UAE before commercial flights are resumed?

Some Etihad and Emirates outbound passenger repatriation flights will resume from 5th April. These limited flights will initially carry residents and visitors in the UAE who wish to return to their countries. It is not clear how long these flights will operate for so you are advised to make arrangements to travel as soon as possible. 

You should contact the airlines (see links above) or a travel provider for information on booking or rescheduling flights.

Those who require urgent consular assistance to get home should contact us on embassy.abudhabi@dfa.ie or by calling +971(0)2 495 8200 (see below)

If you do not require urgent consular assistance but do wish to return home, please contact the airlines (see links above) or a travel provider as you would in the normal course of events.

 

What documents do I need to travel to the airport?

We are not aware of any particular requirements when travelling to Dubai airport or when in transit. You should carry your flight ticket/travel documents to produce if required.


If you are a Dubai resident and travelling to the airport in a private car you need to apply for a movement permit – https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/home. A UAE mobile number is required.

 

What restrictions are in place when returning to Ireland?

The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Further information is available from the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page.

 

I plan to visit the UAE. Should I travel?

All flights are suspended from 25th March, entry visas have also been suspended, therefore no entry is permissible.

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 restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

 

I am an Irish citizen who lives in the UAE but had travelled abroad. Will I be allowed to return?

All passenger and transfer flights are suspended until at least 8th April, and there is no guarantee flights will resume then.

Entry visas for both UAE residents and those eligible for visa on arrival have also been suspended, therefore no entry is permissible.

While some limited Etihad and Emirates outbound repatriation flights will resume from 5th April, these flights will initially carry residents and visitors who wish to leave the UAE to return to their countries.

There is no information on resumption of passenger services to the UAE as yet.

The UAE had previously announced that holders of valid visas would no longer be allowed enter or re-enter the country until at least 2nd April. This has now been renewed for a further period of two weeks, i.e. to 16th April. The suspension may be further renewed at that stage.

The UAE authorities have requested those holding valid UAE visas, and now staying abroad, to register with the ‘Tawajudi for Residents’ Service which aims to facilitate safe return to the UAE in emergency situations.

https://www.mofaic.gov.ae/en/Services/Twajudi-Resident

The UAE authorities have established two helpline numbers for those affected by the restrictions - +97192083344 and +97124965228, and have said families affected in the UAE can contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on 02-3128867/ 02-3128865/ 050-1066099 or by email on Operation@ica.gov.ae.

 

I am an Irish citizen and am currently in the UAE on a temporary visa. Can I still renew my visa?

Tourist/visit visas are valid for 30 days with a 10-day grace period for renewal. The UAE authorities have announced that anyone currently in the UAE on a tourist/visit visa who is unable to leave due to the closure of airspace will be allowed to continue their stay in the UAE legally. This announcement stated that a mechanism will be put in place to facilitate this extended stay. However, as yet no information has been given on this process.  

 

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.

 

Can I apply for a passport?

The Embassy is closed to the public and we cannot receive passport applications or supporting documents until further notice.

While you can still renew your passport using Passport Online, your application may not be processed until normal operations resume.

https://www.dfa.ie/passports/

 

Ireland Entry Visas

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

We have taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new Ireland visa applications. This is effective from close of business 20th March 2020 until further notice.

Ireland visa queries may be sent by email to abudhabivisastaff@dfa.ie

 

Qatar

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

Some flights to and from Qatar have been suspended. This is an evolving situation, and you should contact your airline or travel provider before travelling.

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.

 

Kuwait

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.

 

 

 

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