Covid-19 & Dubai
With the rise of Covid cases in the world and also in Dubai, the screening tests are multiplying.
Remember, we had reached the 50 cases per day to climb back to over 3000 cases in a few weeks.
In the United Arab Emirates, there are several tools to get tested:
- Classical tests = PCR test: PCR or RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 (equivalent designation for Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain reaction) is a laboratory technique allowing to highlight the genetic material of the virus in a sample. It requires a sample to be taken from the most accessible area where the concentration of virus is greatest, i.e. the nasopharynx, behind the nostril ducts.
- Antigen tests: Rapid antigen tests are an additional tool to reduce viral transmission chains. They complement RT-PCR tests, which remain the reference technique for the detection of Covid-19 infection.
When is it necessary to do Covid-19 tests?
If you have symptoms!
The four main symptoms are fatigue, fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms are sometimes described: aches or back pain; sore throat, runny nose; and possibly nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
You should also be tested if you have been in contact with or live with an infected person.
If you must travel, Covid-19 testing may be required. All you need to do is take a PCR test, usually within 72 hours before your flight. You may be asked for the test results upon boarding and upon arrival as well.
If you are going to France for example, the Covid test is mandatory before boarding the plane to France. A PCR test is quite sufficient. In the Emirates, PCR tests are available at every corner! You can do them in the government tents or in the clinics, and the most convenient in the UAE is the possibility to do the test from your car.
Another solution that is a little more difficult to access in Dubai is the do-it-yourself tests at home: the rapid antigenic tests. These tests are known to be cheaper, do-it-yourself, and the results are quick (15-30 minutes) but the downside is that they are not as accurate as a PCR test that will be analyzed in a laboratory.
We have prepared a list of places where you can get rapid antigen tests in Dubai.
Where to buy an antigen test in Dubai?
Cost: Dhs 40 for one test, Dhs 150 for a batch of four tests.
You can find antigen tests at Community Pharmacy. They offer Panbio and Flowflex Covid-19 brand tests for Dhs 40 for a single test, or Dhs 150 for a pack of four Panbio tests.
The self-administered lateral flow test kits come with all the tools you need to perform a test at home. So you won’t need anything else.
The little extra is the free online delivery by Community Pharmacy. The latter is present in many areas of Dubai like Motor City, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Marina and Wafi.
Their website: chspharmacy.ae
Cost: Dhs 40 for one, Dhs 150 for a pack of four
Boots is one of the best known pharmacies in the UAE. Like Community Pharmacy, several Boots located in Dubai sell the Panbio rapid antigen test, with individual tests and family packs available.
Also, it is important to know that there is no price difference with Community Pharmacy – AED 40 for one test and AED 150 for a four-pack.
So far, these tests have been spotted at Mall of the Emirates and Springs Souk branches.
Their website: me.boots.com
Where to get a PCR test in the UAE?
With the number of cases increasing, PCR centers are being flooded and the time to receive results has increased to an average of 48 hours from an average of 12 hours a few weeks ago.
Many situations will require you to have a negative PCR test such as travel, weddings, or even restaurants and malls in Abu Dhabi!
For those who cannot afford to wait 48 hours for their PCR results, we have prepared a list of places where PCR test results are fast.
This company offers the possibility to do PCR tests at home with ultra fast results in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Results are usually received within six to seven hours and cost AED499 per person, and AED799 Dhs for a three to four hour delay. Please note, if you are several to be tested at the same time (group of five or more) then there is a possibility to have a discount on the prices of PCR tests.
Their website: 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒆.𝒄𝒐𝒎, 𝑻é𝒍. : (𝟖𝟎𝟎) 𝟕𝟑𝟐𝟐𝟖
Unilabs (Abu Dhabi only)
These laboratories offer the possibility of obtaining results within 12 to 24 hours for AED50, results within six hours for AED150 and results within three hours for AED250. Please note that these offers are only valid in Abu Dhabi.
You will find laboratories on Khalifa Street, on the 8th floor of the Al Etihad building.
Their website: 𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒍𝒂𝒃𝒔.𝒂𝒆, (𝟖𝟎𝟎) 𝟖𝟔𝟒 𝟓𝟐𝟐𝟕
Aqua also offers home PCR testing in Dubai. In terms of pricing, the offer starts at AED149 for results in 12 hours, AED249 to get your results in 8-10 hours, and finally AED499 to receive PCR test results within 6 hours.
Their website: 𝒂𝒒𝒖𝒂𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍.𝒄𝒐𝒎, (𝟖𝟎𝟎) 𝟖𝟎𝟔𝟎𝟖𝟎
G42 BiogenixLab (Masdar City – Abu Dhabi only)
This lab delivers PCR test results at an incredible speed. Two hours, yes you mean two hours to receive your PCR test results in Abu Dhabi only. All at a very reasonable price, AED350.
If you can wait a little longer then you can opt for the five hour results solution for a fee of AED250. Appointments can be made directly on their website: 𝒃𝒊𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒙.𝒂𝒆 ,(𝟖𝟎𝟎) 𝟐𝟒𝟔 𝟓𝟐𝟐
Burjeel Medical City (Mohammed Bin Zayed City – Abu Dhabi only)
The offer is valid only at Burjeel Abu Dhabi. This hospital located in Musaffa, just south of Abu Dhabi, offers tests with fast results in only two to four hours. For each PCR the cost is approximately AED350.
Their website: 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒋𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒄𝒊𝒕𝒚.𝒄𝒐𝒎, (𝟖𝟎𝟎) 𝟓𝟓
247 Medical Services (Amer247)
This company, offers PCR testing to anywhere you are: at your home, office, hotel, etc. Whether you are in Dubai, Ajman or Sharjah, this company promises express test results in just three to five hours. Amer is fully “DHA approved.”
Their website: 𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒓𝟐𝟒𝟕.𝒄𝒐𝒎, 𝑻é𝒍. : (𝟎𝟒) 𝟐𝟑𝟎 𝟎𝟓𝟎𝟎
However, we advise you to use only PCR tests because they are the test with the best sensitivity, i.e. with this type of test the false rate that you get is very low.
Don’t take any risks and test yourself. Protecting yourself is protecting others!