Dubai holidays: Foreign Office scraps warning against travel to UAE after seven months

Boris Johnson urges ‘patience’ over travel restrictions

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Typically Dubai is a sunshine hotspot for holidaymakers, luring in rain-weary Britons with its soaring year-round temperatures. However, in January the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was placed on the red list, meaning only British and Irish residents and nationals would be allowed to enter the UK from the nation.

This would also come with a whopping £1,750 fee for a government-mandated hotel quarantine lasting 11 days – a price set to soar to £2,285 as of next week.

However, good news came on Wednesday, when the Department for Transport announced the UAE would finally be making its way onto the amber list.

As of 4am on Sunday, August 8, the travellers who can prove they have received both doses of a UK, European Union (EU) or US approved and administered vaccine will be able to avoid quarantine.

What’s more, they will only be expected to take a pre-departure test and a test on or before day two of their arrival.

Ahead of these changes, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has lifted its warning against travelling to the UAE.

In its most recent update, issued on Friday, the FCDO stated: “The FCDO no longer advises against all but essential travel to the United Arab Emirates, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

It added: “From 4 am on Sunday, August 8 the UAE will move to the amber list for entering England.”

The change has been celebrated by holiday hungry Britons on Twitter.

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One user wrote: “Dubai is moving to the amber list, my holiday is still going ahead!”

Another added: “Since Dubai’s moving from red to amber, I might just get a holiday this year.”

However, others were left “frustrated” following the sudden change.

“We cancelled our holiday to Dubai as balance was due on July 22 and it was on the still on the red list,” wrote a user named Maxine.

“Was due to travel on August 15 and it’s now gone amber meaning technically we could have gone, it’s so frustrating!”

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said the latest amber and green list additions would hopefully help people begin to reconnect around the world.

Following the traffic light announcement, he said: “We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we’ve made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.

“While we must continue to be cautious, today’s changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public.”

Britons hoping to visit Dubai will still face a number of strict entry rules and are urged to follow the instructions of authorities in the UAE.

“COVID-19 entry requirements may change at short notice, and travellers to the UAE are strongly encouraged to check the specifics, including the time frames for undertaking COVID-19 PCR tests before departure with their airline before they travel,” explains the FCDO.

“Residents, tourists and visitors travelling from or through the UK and arriving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test which was taken no more than 72 hours before departure and present the certificate at check-in.

“Travellers arriving in Dubai may be required to undertake a further COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and will have to isolate pending the result of the COVID-19 PCR test.”

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