What is the change? 
The United Arab Emirates banned travel to Iran and Thailand for UAE nationals in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

What does the change mean? UAE nationals cannot travel from the UAE to Iran or Thailand at this time. The UAE government has asked UAE nationals in Iran or Thailand to contact UAE embassies in those countries or register for the UAE government’s ‘Tawajudi’ service. This service is operated by the UAE for crisis and emergency communications with UAE nationals.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Any visa required to travel to Iran or Thailand.
  • Who is affected: UAE nationals planning travel to Iran or Thailand. The restrictions do not apply to residents of the UAE who are not UAE nationals.
  • Business impact: Direct business travel from the UAE to Iran and Thailand is not possible for the duration of the ban.
  • Next steps: The travel ban has been implemented until further notice. Employers should anticipate no direct travel for UAE nationals to Iran and Thailand until the UAE government deems such travel is safe.

Background: According to the World Health Organization, Iran has the largest number of COVID-19 cases among Middle Eastern countries, and Thailand has the largest number of cases in Southeast Asia.

Analysis & Comments:
Direct flights from the UAE to Iran have been suspended. And while flights from UAE to Thailand continue, those planning travel from the UAE to Iran or Thailand may want to reconsider their plans at this point. The response to the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and Deloitte will provide updates as information becomes available.

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