The UAE Relaxes Its Entry Restrictions From India & Other Nations – Simple Flying

Passengers from India and some neighboring countries can expect reduced travel time due to the new rules.
In another example of countries unknotting their entry rules, the UAE has eased travel restrictions for passengers from India and a few other nations arriving at its airports. The new rules have done away with pre-departure airport testing requirements and are likely to help passengers save traveling time.
UAE-bound passengers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh need not worry about taking a pre-departure COVID test and spending hours at the airport. Such relaxations are becoming more common as COVID cases come down and more and more people get vaccinated.
Earlier, anyone boarding a Dubai or Abu Dhabi-bound flight had to arrive at the airport far too early to take the mandatory rapid PCR test at least six hours before departure. The revised rules have made flying to the UAE a lot more convenient for thousands of people from the Indian subcontinent who take these flights every day.
On Tuesday, Dubai Airport issued an advisory for all incoming passengers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Passengers are now just required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate taken up to 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight. They will, however, have to undergo a PCR test upon landing in Dubai.
But being a major transit airport, Dubai is often just a stopover for many flyers. In such cases, passengers are bound by the entry rules of their final destination.
The latest advisory from Dubai comes a day after the UAE updated its guidelines for fully vaccinated passengers from these countries, making them exempt from pre-departure rapid COVID test. Indian passengers were asked to upload their vaccine certificates on the Air Suvidha portal before departure.
Airlines, too, have been quick to update their websites and messaging on social media, with Etihad confirming the news in reply to passenger queries.
While declining COVID cases is definitely a driving force behind such exemptions, another factor was at play this time around. According to the Economic Times, the UAE came to this decision following a demand by India’s Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
For quite some time, Dubai had been asking to increase its flight entitlement to pre-COVID levels, applying for a request several times last year. On Monday, Scindia negotiated with the UAE, granting more airplane seats in exchange for abolishing the airport RT-PCR test.
ET quotes a person in the know as saying,
“Minister Scindia made it clear to the UAE authorities that the increase in seat entitlements would happen after this requirement is removed.”
Another source said that the UAE was initially willing to remove the test requirements only for passengers originating from Kolkata. But the Indian side pressed for a pan-India rule.
This is sure to bring smiles to all the passengers booked on flights to the UAE.
Are you planning to travel to the UAE from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka anytime soon? How much time are you expecting to save due to the revised rules? Do share your comments below.
Journalist – With a background in publishing and digital media, I like to combine my love for aviation with my passion for storytelling and reporting. I’m a keen observer of ever-changing aviation trends around the world and particularly in India. I also keep a close eye on fleet development of all major carriers and their subsequent impact on regional and international routes. Based in New Delhi, India.

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