uae South African travellers

UAE opens its borders to South African travellers

Andile Sicetsha - 30.08.2021

South African globetrotters — vaxxed or not — will now be allowed into the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in line with the national airline’s return to the skies in its Africa route, has lifted the ban on South African travellers.

UAE is now open to South African travellers

Earlier in August, Emirates announced plans to resume flights to South Africa after weeks of no activity in the UAE-Africa route.

In a statement, the airline revealed that in a bid to increase tourist activity, 11 weekly flights will now be available in Johannesburg, and three in Cape Town.

“Flights to/from South Africa have also been scheduled to allow for convenient connections and additional access to Emirates’ four gateways in the UK, as well as Emirates’ extensive US network,” the statement read.

Moreover, travellers — South Africans included — will no longer be stuck at dedicated lounges when stopping over in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

As of Monday 30 August 2021, travellers from countries not included in the ‘green’ list will be allowed inside the Arab country.

What you need to know before you board that flight

Travellers with plans to visit the UAE can now apply for a tourist visa. Here is a full breakdown of everything you need if you are a South African traveller planning your next trip to Dubai.

  • You must be fully vaccinated with any one of the candidates approved by the World Health Organisation (AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac)
  • Arriving passengers will have to take a mandatory rapid PCR test at the airport
  • You must also register your vaccination status on the government’s health app

Unvaccinated travellers are still allowed to gain entry into the UAE. However, these rules apply:

  • Travellers from ‘green‘ countries (SA is not on this list) must take a PCR test on arrival, on day six and on day 12 from arrival. They are not required to quarantine themselves
  • Arrivals from ‘other’ countries must take a PCR test on arrival, quarantine for 12 days and take another PCR test on day 11 from arrival.