UAE: Visa Requirements Waived; New COVID-19 Test Requirements Implemented

November 6, 2020 Lucy Halse

Key Points

  • Oman is waiving visa requirements for travelers from over 100 countries
  • The Government of Oman will release its list of visa-exempt countries through 2020
  • The visa waiver is designed to stimulate Oman’s economy and promote tourism
  • GCC citizens can enter Oman without a visa
  • Citizens of Israel will also be exempt from visa requirements to enter the UAE
  • The visa waivers for Israeli citizens follow a peace deal between Israel and the UAE
  • Business and tourism are expected to increase for the UAE and Israel
  • New COVID-19 test requirements will take effect November 8, 2020

Overview

To increase tourism to the UAE, Oman’s Ministry of Finance will waive visa requirements for citizens from 100 countries and Israel. New COVID-19 requirements will begin on November 8, 2020.

What are the Changes?

The visa waiver is intended to increase tourism to Oman and stimulate the country’s economy. Citizens of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE) are currently permitted to enter Oman without a visa. As citizens of more countries can enter visa-free, the Government of Oman anticipates an increase in the number of commercial flights available, especially between Oman and India. The hospitality industry expects an economic boost from the visa waivers as well.

Visa Waivers for Israeli Citizens

Additionally, the UAE has ratified an agreement for visa waivers with Israel. Citizens of the UAE and Israel will soon be able to travel between the countries without a pre-approved visa. The new regulation follows a recent peace deal between the UAE and Israel that is designed to encourage business and technological growth between the two countries. The peace deal aims to have 500 Israeli businesses working in the UAE by the end of 2020, which is twice the amount of Israeli countries that currently conduct trade with the UAE. The peace deal will also create 28 flights per week between the countries to boost tourism in Israel and the UAE. 

What Should Travelers Know?

Travelers to the UAE should note that new COVID-19 testing requirements will begin on November 8, 2020. A negative PCR COVID-19 test result is now required for all travelers to Abu Dhabi. The rule applies to all citizens and residents of the UAE, including residents returning to Abu Dhabi. Additional testing is required on the fourth and eighth day of arrival for travelers who are staying that length of time. The day of arrival in Abu Dhabi is counted as the first day for COVID-19 testing purposes. Non-compliance with the test requirements may result in a fine.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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