A standard Covid PCR in Dubai cost an average of AED 150. Some requires an appointment and some are walk in or even drive through.
It is spring break now and we are thinking of something crazy (probably the side effects of coping around for too long). We wanted to go somewhere out of the country and not just a staycation. Weather is getting warm in UAE and hiking is no longer a good option this holiday.
Of course we had to choose a country that does not require quarantine, otherwise our break will be sucked quarantine-ing somewhere. So we have shortlisted it down to Egpyt or Georgia. Steven has contact in Egypt and that makes planning easier with our last minute decision.
Many things has to be considered as there are many uncertainties. We checked the requirements for travelling int Egpyt and it is negative PCR test within 72 hours of entering with exception for kids below 6 years old. Returning to Dubai require PCR test as well for adults and kids below 12 years old are exempted.
We did not want to buy air tickets in advance in case we fail the pcr test as steven just gotten his vaccination shot less than a week ago so our plan is to get the test done and buy the air ticket later as this minimise our risk.
We found out that the cheapest test is done via SEHA, a National Screening Centre that has a few branch. The nearest one would be in City walk, which is around 30 mins drive away.
First we had to download the SEHA apps and register an account using our Emirates ID and phone number. Then we can book an appointment.
If you belong to any of these categories- you can get the test done free of charge once every 4 months: UAE Nationals, residents above 50 years old, and people suffering from chronic diseases. For the rest, it is AED 65 and you can pay after u make an appointment.
Appointment can be made via its apps or by calling their hotline 80050.
Once appointment is made, turn up on the day in your time slot and it is seamless. There is an area where you do registration using your emirates ID and then a staff will pop by your car window to do the swab.
Prepare a tissue as you would feel some discomfort after the swab.
Test results will be available within 24-48 hours, u will get a SMS notification and then results and printable copy is available on the apps.
Update (January 2022): The cost of PCR has dropped from AED 65 to AED 50!!