The United Arab Emirates (UAE) updated its travel info on Wednesday, announcing the resumption of entry for travellers from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kongo, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
UAE travel info: Gulf skies reopened to South Africa
Scientists and virologists alike were critical of this decision which, at best, was not guided by any reliable data and, at worst, was harmful to Africa’s economy.
Soon thereafter, countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Denmark and others, realised that the travel ban was, more than anything, a fruitless exercise that did nothing to prevent the spread of the super COVID-19 variant.
The UAE is one of the few remaining countries that adopted the ‘better late than never’ approach in reversing its travel ban on South Africa.
What you need to know before you book a flight to UAE
On Wednesday, after mounting pressure from the public, the Gulf country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) announced the reversal of the ban on South Africa and 11 other African nations.
According to NCEMA, travellers from the above-mentioned countries will be able to travel to the UAE from Saturday 29 January 2022.
#الطوارئ_والأزمات والطيران المدني: استئناف دخول القادمين من كينيا وتنزانيا واثيوبيا ونيجيريا وجمهورية الكونغو وجمهورية جنوب افريقيا وبتسوانا وإيسواتيني وليسوتو وموزمبيق وناميبيا وزيمبابوي وتحديث إجراءات الدخول على القادمين من أوغندا وغانا وروندا اعتباراً من 29 يناير الجاري pic.twitter.com/Gky8MOXgGS— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) January 26, 2022
From what we understand, the only entry requirement needed is a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility no more than 48 hours before departure.
Emirates Airlines, the UAE’s flagship carrier, has yet to formally announce its resumption of flights from South Africa. A test search on the airline’s booking platform indicates that, at least for now, flights will only be available from Tuesday 1 February 2022.