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Dubai loosens COVID-19 entry rules for unvaccinated teens

Aug. 22, 2022
4 min read
sunset view of the Dubai skyline with large interstate system
Dubai loosens COVID-19 entry rules for unvaccinated teens
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It’s just got easier for families to visit Dubai, following news that the popular Persian Gulf city has eased entry requirements for unvaccinated children.

Previously, youngsters aged between 13 and 16 without vaccines were required to take a PCR test if they didn’t have proof of recovery from COVID-19. For thousands of families, it was an extra hurdle to contend with on their arrival in the country.

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Thankfully, however, the government has relaxed this COVID-19 entry requirement, bumping the minimum age for unvaccinated travelers who need to take a PCR test to 16.

“Travelers to the UAE do not need to take a Covid PCR test before they travel if they are fully vaccinated or they hold a Covid recovery certificate with a QR code dated within 30 days of departure; they are under 16 years of age for arrivals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; they have severe disabilities,” read the freshly updated guidelines from Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jorg Greuel)

The update also states that any travelers who do not fit into those categories “must still have a negative Covid PCR test, taken no more than 48 hours before departure, and present the certificate at check in.”

Related: ‘Unlimited’ caviar in first class and refreshed cabins: Emirates touts $2B in upgrades

Since the start of the pandemic, the UAE has had over 1 million cases but registered a low 2,341 deaths. Also, while the infection rate and death rates have subsided massively, officials in the region have been keen not to become complacent, even if it’s occasionally given vacation-goers an extra headache.

Summer vacations might have returned to normal for most of us in recent weeks. However, there are tens of thousands of families who will have had to change plans due to remaining COVID-19 restrictions in popular destinations, be it picking another destination afar or even staying on U.S. shores.

Looking back on 2022, it seems that unvaccinated children have fallen through the gaps. The last two years of stop-start international travel have been a little trying for everyone, especially when the youngest citizens were often the last to receive a vaccine during the peak of the pandemic.

Dubai’s gleaming shoreline. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Even this month, with airport terminals once again bustling, it’s not been all that straightforward for families to know where to head for the first proper summer vacation since the age of lockdown.

A quick PCR test might not sound like a big deal. However, if there’s even the slightest chance your family’s dream vacation could rest on the toss of a coin (or swab) it’s no surprise many chose to book elsewhere.

You’ll certainly find few destinations as popular this summer as Dubai — its gilded hotels, implausibly luxurious hospitality and first-rate shopping options draw travelers back time and time again.

A recent report revealed that Dubai International airport (DBX) is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year, with around 7.8 million fliers excepted each month by the final quarter.

Mind you, if Emirates’ unlimited caviar option for first class passengers comes to fruition soon, expect this number to increase tenfold.

Featured Photo by Rasto SK/Shutterstock.

Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases