The Emirati government has suspended the entry of travelers from South Africa and six other countries.

Key Points:

  • Individuals who have been in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe in the 14 days before intended arrival are barred from entering the country.
  • UAE nationals, diplomatic missions, official delegations between UAE and the seven countries, and golden residence holders are excluded from the entry ban but must:
    • Have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of departure. The certificate must have a QR code.
    • Take a rapid-PCR test at the airport within six hours of departure, in which the result must have a QR code, and another PCR test at the airport upon arrival.
    • Undergo a 10-day quarantine and take a PCR test on the ninth day in the country.
  • Individuals will continue to be able to travel from the UAE to any of the seven countries listed above.

Additional Information: Official delegations are required to quarantine at the airport until the test result is received for them to continue their mission in UAE without the 10-day quarantine. Individuals coming from a third country who have been in one of the aforementioned countries in the 14 days before arrival must stay in that third country for at least 14 days before continuing to the UAE. The UAE is one of several countries to add entry restrictions in response to the emergence of the new virus variant.

BAL Analysis: The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus will make travel to the UAE from Southern Africa more difficult in the days and weeks ahead. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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