Dubai residents who had traveled outside the country no longer need approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Emirates Airlines has confirmed. The development comes on flight bookings for February 12 or later as the airline sent out emails to residents who had traveled outside Dubai and were due to return. As stated by the email, "Residents traveling back to Dubai will no longer require GDFRA approval while returning."

The update came into effect on February 12. Prior to this, All Dubai residents needed GDRFA approval to fly back to the Emirate. As per the guidelines, an approval was valid for 30 days only. Those who were planning to return back in less than 30 days could apply for approval earlier. Hence, the new update has been welcomed by the residents of Dubai.

However, there are other requirements that travelers would need to fulfill. Dubai residents returning to the city still require a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate that should not be more than 72 hours old.  

Suggested Read: Places to Visit in Dubai: Top Locations For A Memorable Holiday In The City

Other Guidelines Issued By The Emirates -

  • Passengers flying to Dubai or having a connecting flight are required to present the necessary documents during the time of check-in.
  • Passengers are advised to check the travel requirements for Dubai or any final destination in order to ensure they comply with all the requirements.
  • Regulations are subject to change. Hence, travelers are advised to confirm before they leave.


Q1. What is GDRFA?

GDRFA or General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs is the administrative body in Dubai. GDRFA is managing the exit and entry of travelers in Dubai, along with regulating the movement of people in Dubai from other countries.

Q2. Is GDRFA approval required for Dubai passport holders?

As per the recent updates, Dubai residents who had traveled outside the country do not need any approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to travel back to the city.

Q3. Do UAE residents require a GDRFA approval?

Any UAE resident, except Dubai passport holder, shall require any ICA or GDRFA. It is compulsory for them to upload their needed information. The residents need to update their Emirates ID number, passport, and nationality on the right portal for complete verification. They need to obtain entry permission from the Federal Authority.

Q4. What are the criteria for GDRFA approval for returning Residents?

For a GDRFA approval, all you need is a passport, visa, and Emirates ID. Information like visa number, country, and year of birth will be asked, and you have to mention the country you are traveling from.

Q5. Is any GDRFA approval needed to travel from India to Dubai?

If you are a Dubai passport holder, you do not require any GDRFA approval if traveling from India. You need to submit your relevant details for an authentic journey.

Q6. Is there any GDRFA approval needed for residents outside UAE?

Yes, every UAE or Non-UAE resident except Dubai needs a pre-approval from GDRFA.