Relocate to United Arab Emirates (UAE) – What you must know about moving to UAE during COVID-19 (updated 2021)

 In Relocation Tips

(This article was updated on 8 June 2021)

Most of us may have put our relocation planning to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic worsened within the past 2 years. With a better hope that it will only improve with the preface of global vaccination, this article will give an insight to relocation to UAE amidst the pandemic.

Since the announcement of commercial flight suspension to and from the United Arab of Emirates (UAE) on 23 March 2020, the UAE has eased the measurements and re-introduced repatriation for expatriates and local residents to return back to their home country.


Before You Relocate to UAE During Covid-19

To live and work in the UAE, you must first obtain a valid visa and entry permit from the UAE government (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship). There are various types of visa and entry permits issued depending on the purpose of your visit, which you may check out here for an in-depth analysis. Do remember to prepare documents for clearance, especially with the heightened measurements due to the pandemic. Obtaining your visa should be the first checklist as it usually takes weeks or even months to process.

Once your visa is processed, you should now take care of your moving needs. It is recommended to source for a reliable international mover, either through referrals or personal research. At Moovaz, we partner with a highly reliable array of partners with years of good track record and testimonies. Ensure that you attain your survey, quote and packing date early to avoid delay due to the volatile COVID-19 regulations. 

On top of household packing and shipping, we maintain a wide range of resourceful partners that provide services such as pet relocation, end-of-tenancy house cleaning, disposal service, accommodation, telecommunication and more. Additionally, it is important to secure short-term accommodation while in the midst of searching for long-term ones so that you will be able to settle in immediately after arriving in UAE. Furthermore, we have attached some regulations in reference to expatriates buying and/or renting a property in the UAE for perspective.

Most importantly, book a flight based on the flight schedules of your departure. Do be patient if you experience slight delays in responses when engaging certain services as some business operations are adversely affected by the COVID-19 adjustment. For more information regarding relocation, you may refer to our article here.

Arrival in UAE

Travellers are required to take the COVID-19 test at a laboratory officially authorized by the UAE or yours respective governments within 96 hours before departure take-off and present the negative result at the departure airport. Otherwise, travellers will not be allowed to board the flight or even enter the UAE.

Upon entering UAE, you must present a negative PCR test result as well. Emiratis arriving at Dubai airport will be exempted from this, but some residents might be requested to obtain a second test upon arrival. If a positive test result is obtained, home self-isolation is required for 12 days. If found violating such rules, a fine of AED 50,000 will be liable. Furthermore, all costs relating to quarantine and medical assistance at home or other facilities are to be borne by individuals primarily,  unless employers of returning individuals are willing to take up the costs. 

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Isolation and Quarantine

The UAE differentiates the two terms in regards to the COVID-19 regulation. Isolation is the segregation of infected persons, possibly those with positive PCR test results from those who are not infected, so that they do not infect others.


On the other hand, quarantine is a precautionary measure taken to segregate those who have been in contact with someone else infected with COVID-19. Whether it is a quarantine at home or hotel, a 14 days quarantine requirement is essential. Those quarantined must download the Al Hosn App to monitor health symptoms and contact a doctor if needed.


Abu Dhabi Quarantine Guidelines

Vaccinated travellers should have a second vaccine dosage administered at least 28 days earlier, with a documentation of the vaccine report on the Al Hosn App.
Travellers vaccinated and arriving from:

  • Green countries: Required to take a PCR test on arrival, without a need to quarantine, and are expected to take another PCR test on day 6 of arrival.
  • Other countries: Required to take a PCR test on arrival, with a need to quarantine for 5 days, and are expected to take another PCR test on day 4 of arrival.

Travellers non-vaccinated and arriving from:

  • Green countries: Required to take a PCR test on arrival, without a need to quarantine, and are expected to take two PCR test on day 6 and 12 of arrival.
  • Other countries: Required to take a PCR test on arrival, with a need to quarantine for 10 days, and are expected to take another PCR test on day 8 of arrival.


Dubai Quarantine Guidelines

You have to present a negative PCR test result at the departure airport within 96 hours of departure. For tests taken after arrival, you are required to undergo a self-quarantine at home until the test results are received. 
If tested negative:

  • you do not need to quarantine any longer. 

If tested positive:

  • you need to continue your quarantine until further notice.



Now that you have all the information needed to relocate to UAE during COVID-19, you can Start your relocation journey with our Relo Buddies today!

Want to get the latest global mobility news concerning the pandemic? Check out our COVID-19 Global Mobility updates.  

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