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UAE Tourism Summer 2020

For citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hoping to escape the summer heat, air conditioning is likely going to be the only choice for the summer 2020 months. Government officials have barred citizens and residents from leaving the country for vacation. Meanwhile, foreign tourism will resume next week.

UAE Tourism Summer 2020: UAE Citizens + Residents Not Permitted To Leave

Citing heightened health risks at home and aboard, the United Arab Emirates has told citizens and permanent residents that it cannot leave the country for holidaymaking. The move marks a sharp escalation from the previous (already burdensome) policy of requiring permission from the government to return.

Speaking at a virtual news conference on behalf of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), Saif Al-Dhaheri said:

“Essential travel is permitted … but will be assessed on a case by case basis according to risk levels.”

There are still exceptions for those who can leave:

  • Study
  • Medical treatment
  • Diplomatic missions
  • Business (a potentially broad loophole)
  • Residents who want to visit or return to their home countries
  • Diplomats and governments employees on official business

All those wishing to leave will need to submit supporting documentation and obtain permission from the government.

UAE Tourism Summer 2020: Foreign Tourists Will Be Welcome, With A Valid Test

Per Paddle Your Own Kanoo, Starting July 7, 2020, tourists will again be welcomed to the UAE, though entry will be subject to COVID-19 testing. Travelers will have two options to gain entry:

  • Arrive in the UAE with a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated within four days of travel
  • Testing on arrival

Note those who choose testing upon arrival will be responsible for all quarantine and medical treatment costs if they test positive.

Every tourist will be subject to mandatory tracing by the UAE government on a mobile phone tracing app.


Tourists will soon be welcomed in the UAE, but locals won’t be able to leave on holiday. It’s a bit draconian for my liberty-loving worldview, but perhaps a better option path than letting the viral spiral out of control.

Any plans to travel to or through the UAE this month?

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