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Three types of Covid-19 tests in Dubai


Since the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic, reportedly originated in China's Wuhan city of Hubei province, the world is witnessing the greatest crisis where 213 countries and territories around the world are affected. The United Arab Emirates had become a part of this worldwide pandemic when their first case was announced in January 2020. From initiating an 11-day sterilization campaign to providing new Covid-19 testing facilities, Dubai, one of the wealthiest of the seven Emirates, acted immediately to prepare, respond, and recover.

- Want to know more? Here are the UAE travel guideline and restrictions you should know in 2020


As there is no specific treatment for Covid-19, the treatment depends on enhancing the immunity level of people, treating the symptoms and acting according to it. Therefore, testing is important in the bigger public health picture to help the investigators in controlling the spread of the disease. Knowing this, Dubai is trying their best to deal with the pandemic by opening new testing facilities.

This article will provide an idea of three types of Covid-19 tests in Dubai.


PCR Test

Polymerase Chain Reaction, or widely known as the PCR test, is the most common test in Dubai. The method to conduct this test is through a nasal swab. The local and international health authorities both approve this test for the confirmation of Covid-19 diagnosis. It is mandatory to do a PCR test by the UAE authorities when someone needs to travel internationally.

The procedure to book a PCR test is easy.

  • Call the designated number; a person needs to book his/her consultation period with the medical team.
  • Tests will be done via swab, and the sample will be sent to the lab for testing.
  • You will receive your results within 48 hours.


Antibody Test

Dubai has many Covid-19 antibody test facilities, like Dubai Hills Hospital, Dubai Marina Medical Centre or Jumeriah Medical Centre. You can detect the presence of Covid-19 in these locations. To diagnose the presence of Covid-19 antibodies, they require a blood sample. Through the sample, it comes to light whether or not the person has a history of virus infection.

The procedure to book for an antibody test is similar to the PCR one. The only difference is that they mostly take blood samples in the antibody tests whereas for the PCR, they use swabs to detect the virus. Within 48 hours, the results will be out.

Home visits for both the tests are available on request.


Laser-based DPI technology for testing

New Coronavirus testing facilities have been opened recently on July 14th, 2020 in the Emirates of Dubai, particularly for people who want to enter Abu Dhabi where a negative test result is required. The centers use laser-based DPI, the short form of Diffractive Phase Interferometry, a technology that produces results in just five minutes. The DPI technology uses blood samples to examine the virus, which is user-friendly and low-cost. However, a screening can only happen if the person has an appointment.

The laser-based DPI and the traditional PCR screening can usually be found in the same center.


Here is how you book an appointment for a Covid-19 test in Dubai:

  • Download the SEHA app/call the Estijaba helpline (bookings available throughout UAE)
  • Receive a text message confirming the location and time of the screening
  • Participate in a pre-assessment screening: they will ask questions regarding your health condition

People who might have the virus and those who are most vulnerable; such as the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, will be given priority. This test is free of charge if someone is suspected to have contracted the virus. It will cost AED 370 per person for the others.


Till the vaccine is out, it is our top priority to protect ourselves from the virus. Taking tests to prove that you are negative contributes to the nation's welfare by controlling the spread of the disease. By wearing masks and testing for your condition before traveling, you can protect you and the people around you!



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