Emirates Expands Network, A380’s Brought Back

Source: Emirates

Emirates is now flying to over 80 destinations and due to increased demand has brought back its majestic Airbus 380 to serve a few destinations. The company tweeted “Emirates will gradually expand the redeployment of its popular A380 to more destinations in line with market demand and operational approvals.” It’s encouraging to see the Emirates A380’s being recalled into service after an initial scare of them being phased out, as some carriers across the globe have parked their super-jumbos at the Mojave Desert.

Emirates was the second customer after Singapore Airline to buy the Airbus 380’s in 2008 and also became the biggest A380 customer with an order of 123 planes, out of which 115 were eventually delivered. They were banking big on these super jumbos and even built a new concourse solely for the Airbus 380’s, they improved the infrastructure in Dubai by launching the Terminal with much fanfare, sighting a very bright future, however filling up this big bird in its 2 configurations of 517 pax and 615 pax for Emirates was always a challenge.

Now with the new social distancing norms, the Airbus 380’s are at a distinct advantage given their capacity to accommodate more passengers than any other aircraft, and can be made operational to certain popular destinations.

This safety video shows all the enhanced safety measures that have been employed to make travel in Covid times as safe as possible, it also demonstrates efforts that the middle eastern carrier is making to woo back passengers. Other than making sure all precautionary measures are followed Emirates also offers to bear the medical expenses for passengers that may have contracted the virus while travelling.

A quick reference guide for those travelling to Dubai, UAE
(Source: Emirates website)



  • Check your eligibility: UAE residents flying to Dubai from India must first check if they are eligible to travel to the UAE. If you are not eligible you will not be able to travel. If you have already booked your flight, speak to your travel agent or check our flexible ticket options to find out what you can do with your ticket.
  • Apply for approval to return: If you hold a Dubai residence visa and you are flying back to Dubai, you must have return approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This only applies to Dubai visas – all other UAE residence visa holders do not have to apply.
  • Apply when you book your flight with us online or through our call centre or on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website.
  • During the GDRFA application process, you will be asked to enter your Resident File Number. This number is on your visa under File. 
  • Check the GDRFA website to see 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. There is no need to follow up on your status with our call centre or GDRFA.
  • You need your GDRFA Application Number to complete your flight booking either online or through our call centre.
  • GDRFA approval is only for Dubai residence visa holders. If you have a residence visa from another emirate, you do not need ICA or GDRFA approval to travel to Dubai.


  • Take a COVID-19 PCR test: All passengers travelling to Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate to be accepted on the flight.
  • The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure.
  • The certificate must be for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Other test certificates including antibody tests and home testing kits are not accepted in Dubai.
  • Bring an official, printed certificate to check-in – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. Without a printed negative test certificate, you will not be accepted on the flight.
  • Test exemptions: Children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability are exempt from this test.
  • COVID-19 testing laboratories: The UAE government has specified designated laboratories. You can either use the recommended laboratories in the list or any trusted and certified laboratories in your country of origin to get your COVID-19 PCR test.
  • If you are flying from India you must get your certificate from one of the labs listed in the designated laboratories document to be accepted on the flight.


  • All travellers to Dubai, including passengers with a connecting flight, must complete this health declaration form and give it to the staff at check-in. You can download it and bring it to the airport with you, or you can complete it at check-in.


  • You will also need to complete the quarantine undertaking form given to you on board if Dubai is your final destination. Hand this form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.


  • Give your quarantine undertaking form to the Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival.
  • You may need to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your residence until you receive the test result.
  • If the test result is positive, you will be required to undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.
  • You must also download the COVID19 – DXB Smart App iOS-Android


  • If you travel out of Dubai and return, the process above will apply to your return journey.
  • Dubai residents do not need Dubai government approval to leave Dubai. But you must have approval to return.
  • Please check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. The travel regulations change frequently. You may need to take a COVID-19 PCR test before you depart or another particular type of COVID-19 test specified by your destination.
  • This is a list of authorised COVID-19 test laboratories in Dubai where you can get tested before you travel to your destination.
  • We offer free, automatic cover for your COVID-19 health and quarantine costs while you’re away from home. Find out more.


  • Emirates passengers can take a COVID-19 PCR test at a special rate of AED 150 at American Hospital Dubai Media City Clinic, American Hospital Al Barsha Clinic and American Hospital Al Khawanij Clinic (opening end September). Home or office testing within Dubai for a minimum of two passengers is also available at AED 250. Test results will be available within 48 hours.
  • Passengers must present a valid ticket/boarding pass (departure within one month of test date) and ID to take the COVID-19 PCR test at these rates.
  • Passengers must take the test within the period required by their destination and Emirates will not be responsible if the test results are not released in time for travel.


  • To travel by road from Dubai into Abu Dhabi you must present at the border a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate or negative laser DPI blood test results issued within 48 hours.

Note: If you are staying in Abu Dhabi for six or more consecutive days, you must take another COVID-19 PCR test by the sixth day. These tests are a legal requirement. Find out where to get tested in Dubai before you enter Abu Dhabi

Hope this helps you pack your bags for your next travel to Dubai, UAE.

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