Tour members are required to play 13 counting events in a year and the 43-year-old South African's joint runner-up finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China this weekend was only his 10th appearance on the circuit and he is set to miss out on a share of the £2.4million end-of-season bonus pool as well.
To stay on the Order of Merit and play in Dubai Els would have had to compete in this week's Singapore Open and then either the South African Open or Hong Kong Open next week, but his next scheduled tournament is the Asian Tour's Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia on December 13-16.
Winner of his fourth major at Royal Lytham in July, Els was initially listed in sixth place on the "Race to Dubai" following Ian Poulter's win this weekend, but now it will be the first time since 1997 that he does not appear on the final list.
The top 60 at the end of next week qualify for Dubai and with no Els England's Lee Slattery moves into 60th place. He plays in both Singapore and Hong Kong.
There is a first prize of nearly £850,000 in Dubai and the bonus pool, even though it has been slashed in half this season, ranges from £642,000 to the leading money-winner - almost certainly Rory McIlroy - to £64,000 for the player finishing 10th.
Scot Martin Laird and American John Daly, currently 64th and 81st respectively, have also only played 10 events, but they stay on the list. Laird joined as an affiliate member, while in his "past winner" category Daly was not guaranteed 13 starts.
McIlroy, with the PGA Tour money list title already secured, has a lead of more than £616,000 over Ryder Cup team-mate Peter Hanson, who has decided not to join the world number one in the next two tournaments and could therefore be too far back come Dubai.
The same applies to third-placed Justin Rose and fourth-placed Poulter.