COVID-19: Corporate Travel

Latest updates

We are currently monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 closely and will continue to provide as much information and assistance to our customers as we possibly can.

Our sources

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have been actively monitoring and responding to the outbreak, and continue to follow the guidance of our three official sources:

We are also working closely with local health authorities, and implementing any new requirements or regulations as quickly as possible. For the latest health advice, we recommend that you refer to the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Only essential travel, via a limited number of authorised flights, is currently advised from the UAE. We recommend that you check the travel advisory from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation for latest updates.

Travel smarter

With the negative impact on our economy and with lockdowns beginning to lift, employers may be asking how to optimise their travel spend for the greatest ROI, and employees may be questioning whether they really do need to travel to do their job effectively with understandable concerns of their safety.

Companies can start addressing these concerns through revising their travel policies, being clear and concise of what changes are required and incorporating both health and safety as well as cost saving initiatives.

Whenever possible, complete check-in processes prior to arriving at the airport is recommended. Online check-in, mobile boarding pass, off airport baggage tagging, and other initiatives will contribute to the reduction in the amount of contact with airport staff and infrastructure.

Check out our home-check in packages in partnership with Dubz and marhaba and receive a variety of benefits such as Home COVID-19 testing, baggage disinfection with long-lasting protection, and fast-track service through immigration. We have a variety of packages available, so choose the check-in experience that suits you.

Home check-in packages

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Policy guidelines for a post-COVID landscape.

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Travel Expense Management and Technology

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Visa services

We are happy to share with you the process for ICA& GDRFA re-entry service.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. ICA approval is required for non-Dubai residents.
  2. GDRFA is required for Dubai residents entering via DXB. Using the same to enter via other airports in UAE will be subject to airport immigration approval.
  3. Visa Team will submit the request to the authorities, however the approval or rejections is subject to the ICA or GDRFA.
  4. Processing time is subject to ICA/GDRFA ,3 days and might be extended at the sole discretion of the authorities
  5. If you change your return date, we can apply for a new return request in the last 7 days of the current one.
  6. If an approval request is rejected, we can only apply after 4 days from the rejection date.
  7. Rules and regulations are subject to change without notice.
  8. Validity is 21 days from the date of approval.

Requirements

  1. ** GDRFA return permit:
  1. Proof of the reason for exiting the UAE. This could be a letter issued from the applicant’s employer or a medical entity, if travel was for medical reason. If the travel was for education, a letter from the educational institute is needed. If the travel was for tourism, the airline ticket can be provided
  2. Valid Passport and UAE visa clear scanned copy
  3. Pledge letter to be filled by sponsor
  4. Arrival airport/ Emirate
  5. Country coming from
  6. Additional documents might be requested by GDRFA
  7. This service if for Dubai residents only
  1. ** ICA return permit:
  1. Clear scanned copy of the following: Valid UAE residence visa, valid passport & valid Emirates ID
  2. Permanent mobile number
  3. Country coming from
  4. Arrival airport/emirate
  5. Expected arrival date & time
  6. The resident is outside the country
  7. Reason of the visit outside UAE
  8. Additional documents might be requested by ICA

Process:

  1. Send e-mail to mraich@dnata.com
  2. Contact: 0554413037
  3. SF : AED52.5 includes VAT
  4. Send payment approval
  5. Visa Team to process the request.
  6. Visa Team to follow the request and share the approval once received.
Flights from the UAE (outbound)

International travel from Dubai

Outbound travel is permitted for travellers to any foreign country from 23 June 2020, with no restrictions, according to Dubai airports’ official flight schedules and subject to airports being operational at the destination of choice. Travellers do not need a COVID-19 test or Dubai government approval to leave Dubai.

Please note, passengers must carry a negative COVID-19 certificate for specific Emirates flights. Certificates must be issued no more than 96 hours before departure, please check to see if your destination is impacted.

If you hold a Dubai residence visa and would like to return to Dubai, you must have government approval to enter. You can apply for this approval via Dubai’s immigration service, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website directly. You will be provided with a file number which must be entered on your visa. You don’t need this to leave the country – but you will need this to return. For peace of mind, apply before you travel.

During the GDRFA application process, when asked to enter your Resident File Number, you can find this number on your visa under ‘File’. Check the GDRFA website to check the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number.  If the application can’t be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. Please keep your GDRFA Application Number with you, as this may be required to complete your travel booking. Please also bring a copy of the GDRFA approval email with you when you travel, as you might be requested to present this.

Residents of other emirates please note, approval is required from The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) via the UAE Twajudi Resident service. It is noted here that it is recommended not to book your travel tickets until obtaining the approval of this application, as reviewing your application may take some time. After obtaining approvals, please proceed to book your travel tickets as per your actual travelling dates. If you live in Dubai but work on a visa from another emirate, you must follow federal rules, which include getting approval from the ICA/Twajudi system.

Travellers are required to fill in a ‘Health Declaration Form’ before embarking to confirm they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. Airlines have the right to prevent passengers from boarding if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Furthermore, travellers should commit to observing precautionary measures outlined by the countries they intend to visit.

International travel from Abu Dhabi and other UAE airports

On July 3, the NCEMA announced that all citizens and residents are now able to travel, in accordance with the health requirements currently enforced within airports and in accordance with the destinations’ regulations.

Travel between Abu Dhabi and other UAE emirates is currently restricted by the Abu Dhabi Government. If you are travelling between emirates to reach the airport, as of 30 June 2020, you must prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 48 hours before you’ll be permitted to enter Abu Dhabi. You must also present your booking confirmation or ticket if requested by officials.

In order to travel, and make a return to the UAE, you must register first with The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) via the UAE Twajudi Resident service.

You must also test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel, and take the negative test result with you to Abu Dhabi or other airports. Without this, you will not be permitted to board the aircraft.

Flights into the UAE (inbound)

Arriving into Dubai

UAE citizens and residents: If you hold a Dubai residence visa and would like to return to Dubai, you must have government approval to enter.You can apply for this approval via the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website directly, ahead of booking travel. During the GDRFA application process, when asked to enter your Resident File Number, you can find this number on your visa under ‘File’. Check the GDRFA website to check the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a GDRFA reference number.  If the application can’t be processed at the time of the request, you can try again after four days. Please bring a copy of the GDRFA approval email with you when you travel, as you might be requested to present this.

Residents of other emirates please note, approval is required from The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) via the UAE Twajudi Resident service>.

Every passenger flying to Dubai is required to fill in the following Health Declaration and Quarantine Undertaking forms. Both forms need to be printed and completed ahead of travel and handed over to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) staff at arrival.

On arrival to Dubai, UAE citizens and residents will have to undergo a PCR test at the airport. They must register their details on the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App (available iOSAndroid) and commit to restricting themselves at home until their test results are available.

If tested positive for COVID-19, they must isolate themselves for 14 days and adhere to all guidelines and measures outlined by the DHA. Returning residents must declare if they have health insurance or travel insurance covering COVID-19 or bear the expenses for treatment or isolation if required. For positive cases, quarantine can take place in a DHA approved hotel or private home, as long as this meets certain criteria. This includes access to a separate bathroom, the ability to live separately from others in the residence, and not living with anyone over the age of 60 or who suffers from a medical condition.

International tourists entering Dubai: Dubai has welcomed international tourists from 7 July 2020, according to Dubai airports’ official flight schedules and subject to airports being operational or any additional restrictions at the destination of departure. When travelling by air, tourists must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE. Valid international health insurance or medical travel insurance should be acquired in advance as a requirement to enter the country. All tourists must also undergo a PCR test with a maximum validity of four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure. They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport.

The airline has the right to refuse boarding at the airport of departure if COVID-19 symptoms are displayed.

Every passenger flying to Dubai is required to fill in the following Health Declaration and Quarantine Undertaking forms. Both forms need to be printed and completed ahead of travel and handed over to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) staff at arrival. All tourists should also download the COVID-19 – DXB Smart App (available iOSAndroid) and register their details to facilitate coordination with health authorities if COVID-19 symptoms are experienced.

All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveller is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus. It is mandatory for tourists who test positive to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense. All positive cases should strictly adhere to the measures outlined by the DHA.

Arriving into Abu Dhabi and other UAE airports

Whilst in the destination of your choice, you must be tested for COVID-19 before you return to the UAE. You can do so by visiting a UAE approved clinic and should plan this well ahead of your return trip. You must present your negative test certificate before boarding the aircraft to the UAE.

On arrival, you must quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, even if your test is negative.

Regular inbound flights for tourists and visitors are not yet flying in to Abu Dhabi or Sharjah, amongst other emirates.

Whilst travelling abroad

A number of destinations worldwide still require travellers to head straight from the airport upon arrival into mandatory self-quarantine, as a precautionary method against the spread of COVID-19. Please make sure to check ahead with local authorities regarding rules for self-quarantine in the destination of your choice. When making a booking to a destination affected, our travel experts are here to support you with options and availability for long stay hotels across the globe that are in easy access to the airport or your final destination, and provide the features you are looking for, to ensure a comfortable stay.

Citizens must notify UAE embassies if they are infected with COVID-19 whilst travelling abroad. Residents and tourists will bear the costs of examination and treatment abroad in the event that they are infected with COVID-19, if this is not provided by the government in the country in which they are travelling to. Please check ahead of travelling, and ensure that you have international health insurance coverage, or travel insurance that covers COVID-19, before you go.

For the latest information on Dubai International Airport updates

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Our refund policy

The current Covid-19 pandemic has thrown travel out of gear and left in its wake myriad challenges across industry segments. Airlines are no different and almost all carriers have been drawn into its vortex with flights being cancelled to varying degrees. The sheer number of flight cancellations have stretched the ability of airlines to process in a timely manner the inordinately high number of refund requests received. Many airlines worldwide have therefore, restricted our ability to process automated refunds via the GDS, including refundable tickets. As a result these processes are being made manually to support our customer’s needs.

To a large extent, airlines have tried their best to meet customer expectations by way of some innovative offers, be it allowing rebooking of tickets with no penalties, extending ticket validity to up to 2 years from date of issue or offering a bonus on top of ticket value if the customer held on to the ticket rather than turn it in for refund.

The frequent changes to rules due to Covid-19 makes it hard to collate all of them in a single document and as such, below are links to the Rebooking / Refund Regulations of some of the major carriers operating from the UAE.

Health & safety is our priority

At dnata, safety is everyone’s responsibility. We are committed to achieving the highest possible safety and security standards for our customers, their passengers, our employees and facilities. Our safety initiatives, training and approach to people keeps us on track to achieving our safety vision of having a culture where all of our people possess the skills, knowledge and confidence to work safely, feel respected and are engaged in helping everyone stay safe.

Our experts in Health & Safety are engaged across the globe with local authorities, industry experts and accommodation suppliers to ensure the relevant mandates are implemented.

Latest update from hotel chains that have initiated new protocols on hygiene standards.

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UAE staycation offers

As travel restrictions ease across the emirates, you may be seeking a change of scenery.

Our corporate leisure team can offer a range of featured offers which include free or flexible cancellations, and most importantly, the assurance that our hotel partners are open to the public at limited capacity, abiding by the latest health and safety precautions set by local authorities. Many of the properties we feature have been selected by dnata Travel for their enhanced hotel hygiene policies, developed in response to the global pandemic.

Please note, across the emirates there are differing restrictions with regards to the opening of in-resort facilities. Please contact us directly for the latest updates on the property and staycation offer of your choice.

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Corporate Leisure staycation offers

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Contact us

As the leading travel management company, we have multiple partners including airlines and hotels which have individual policies with regards to travel routes and/or cancellations. As our partners continue to review their policies, we recommend that you contact us to ensure that you have the latest possible information.

For existing customers please contact your dedicated Customer relations Managers. For general enquiries please contact teodora.stoyanova@dnata.com or call +971 (0)47 036 146.

Products and services

Cargo services

We offer premium cargo handling services. With best-in-class facilities and state-of-the- art cargo handling support technologies, our handling services are diligent and efficient. We move our customers’ cargo smoothly from one destination to another, tracking its progress the whole way.

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Charter services

Charter a jet to and from any destination in comfort and style while experiencing the upmost in convenience and flexibility. dnata can help arrange your private charter service now.

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Travel insurance

Protect yourself against unexpected circumstances such as emergency medical conditions, delayed flights, lost luggage, and more. We work with AIG, the world’s leading insurance organization to bring you the peace of mind and the best-in-class care which our customers deserve.

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Home check-in packages

Start your journey in the safest possible way and check-in your baggage from the comfort of your own home. Receive a variety of benefits such as Home COVID-19 testing, and baggage disinfection with long-lasting protection. At the airport, speed through immigration using marhaba’s fast-track service. We have a variety of packages available, so choose the check-in experience that suits you.

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Virtual Meetings and Events

Hosting a virtual meeting requires different skills from those carried out face to face. Prepare, organize and run virtual meetings more effectively with dnata. Our platform combines all event management functions in one easy to use tool, enabling you to provide the ultimate virtual event experience.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is not exhaustive, may not address your individual requirements and is for informational purposes only. We endeavor to keep all information up to date, but given the special circumstances that may change from day to day, we make no warranties of any kind on the accuracy of the information. External links provided here are not under the control of dnata and dnata has no control over the availability of those sites. dnata shall not be responsible for any loss or damage if any from using the external links.