Abu Dhabi Issues New Travel Guidelines For Inbound Travelers, Says Booster Dose Not Required

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The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has released a new guide for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors to ensure streamlined and stress-free travel into the UAE capital.

When planning a trip to Abu Dhabi, all inbound tourists are reminded first to check DCT Abu Dhabi’s destination website VisitAbuDhabi.ae for the latest travel guidelines and necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures. The site will reiterate that a booster (third) dose for any COVID-19 vaccine is not a requirement for entry into the emirate.

For those entering Abu Dhabi via the Dubai/Abu Dhabi Road entry point, DCT Abu Dhabi has assigned the far-right lane (Lane 1) as a dedicated tourist lane.

This lane also has a designated guest’s service office and officials to ensure seamless entry to the emirate and address any challenges.

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Vaccinated tourists must present proof of their full (double) vaccination status via their home country’s official vaccination certificate through a mobile application or physical certificate, and present a negative PCR test result obtained within the last 14 days, or a negative 48 hour PCR test obtained from tourists’ home country.

Unvaccinated visitors can enter with a negative PCR test obtained within the last 96 hours. 

A clear, concise summary of all traveler rules and regulations, for vaccinated and unvaccinated inbound visitors from both Green List and non-Green List countries, is below;

Guidelines For Fully Vaccinated Travelers

Vaccinated or exempt from vaccination. Regional and International Inbound Tourists and Business Travelers flying into Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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1. First, check the UAE officially recognizes your vaccine. Abu Dhabi accepts vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention Society (MOHAP).

All quarantine procedures for all vaccinated travelers (and unvaccinated travelers from Green List countries) have been lifted, allowing seamless entry into Abu Dhabi. To check the Green List, please visit here.

2. Travelers must download the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA UAE Smart) app or visit the ica.gov.ae website to complete the ‘Register Arrivals Form’ 48 hours before the travel date. All travelers will need to validate their vaccination (or exemption) 48 hours before travel via these platforms. They will be prompted to submit personal information, passport details, travel itinerary, address when in Abu Dhabi, and a copy of their vaccine certificate. 

These will need to be approved before the traveler embarks on their journey. The average time for the Medical Committee to process applications is 48 hours.

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3. Be cleared to fly. Travelers must take a PCR test within 48 hours of their departure and fly only once a negative test result has been received.

4. Travel to Abu Dhabi. 

5. PCR Testing on Arrival. Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, travelers will need to take another PCR test (only children under 12-years and individuals with official exemptions are exempt). This PCR test is readily available within the terminal and free of cost, with results received within 90 minutes. Travelers can depart the airport and wait in their accommodation for the results. Fully

6. Green List vs Non-Green List Countries. If the traveler comes from a Green List country, they will need to take another PCR test on Day 6. If from a non-Green List country, they will need to take another PCR test on Day 4 and Day 8. The day of arrival is Day 1.

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These tests can be taken either at one of the city’s testing centers or at their convenience in their hotel accommodation.

7. Access to Abu Dhabi Attractions. To enter public attractions in Abu Dhabi, the majority of which allows access to vaccinated visitors only, visitors will need to present proof of their full (double) vaccination status via their home country’s official vaccination certificate or by their home country COVID response mobile application along with a negative PCR test result, obtained within the last 14 days.

Unvaccinated Regional and International Inbound Tourists and Business Travelers flying into Abu Dhabi International Airport.

1. Be cleared to fly. Travelers must take a PCR test within 48 hours of their departure and fly only once a negative test result has been received.

2. Travelers must download the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA UAE Smart) app or visit the ica.gov.ae website to complete the ‘Register Arrivals Form’ 48 hours before the travel date. They will be prompted to submit personal information, passport details, travel itinerary, and address when in Abu Dhabi. These details will need to be approved before the traveler embarks on their journey. The average time for the Medical Committee to process applications is 48 hours. 

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3. PCR Testing on Arrival. Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, travelers will need to take another PCR test (only children under 12-years and individuals with official exemptions are exempt). This PCR test is readily available within the terminal and free of cost. The results should be received within 90 minutes.

4. Green List vs Non-Green List Countries and quarantine measures.

  • If the unvaccinated traveler comes from a Green List country, they will need to take another PCR test on Day 6 and Day 9 (the day of arrival is Day 1). They will not be required to quarantine.
  • If the unvaccinated traveler comes from a non-Green List country, they will need to undergo quarantine measures. Once they receive the result from their arrival PCR test:  
    • if negative, they can make their way to their accommodation and quarantine for 10-days. 
    • If positive, they will be fitted with a wristband to wear during their 10-day quarantine period. 
    • Both positive and negative travelrs will need to take a second PCR test at a SEHA Prime Testing Facility on Day 9. If the traveler was previously positive and now shows a negative, they can remove their wristband.

Additionally, if the travelers have transited through a Green List country from a non-Green List country to Abu Dhabi but have spent less than ten days in the Green List location before arriving in Abu Dhabi, they must still complete the quarantine in Abu Dhabi. However, any time spent in the Green List country before arriving in Abu Dhabi will count towards the 10-day quarantine period.

5. Unvaccinated tourists will not have access to attractions, except for hotel accommodations, but not restaurants and facilities within hotels.

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Regional and International Inbound Tourists and Business Travelers entering Abu Dhabi via Dubai or other emirates.

Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated international travelers coming into Abu Dhabi via Dubai or other emirates will need to follow the same guidelines as the vaccinated and unvaccinated international travelers flying direct, plus a few additional on-ground measures, including:

1. Be cleared to fly. Depending on departure country or airline, travelers may be required to take a PCR test within 48 hours of their departure, with a negative result mandatory. Travelers are advised to check official channels or airline requirements ahead of travel. Information on those required to take the test ahead of traveling can be found on the Emirates Airline COVID-19 Information Hub.

2. Registering and Sharing Personal Information. Downloading the ICA UAE Smart app or visiting the ica.gov.ae website to complete their ‘Register Arrivals Form’ 48 hours before the travel date.

3. PCR Testing on Arrival. Depending on the traveler’s departure country, they may be required to take a PCR test upon arrival at Dubai International Airport or Sharjah International Airport. If they take the test at the airport, they must remain in their hotel until results are received. If positive, the traveler will undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.

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4. Entry point Scan. 

5. All passengers traveling to Abu Dhabi via the road will be scanned by an EDE mobile scanning device at the entry point of the emirate. Anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms will be sent for a free rapid antigen test, with results delivered within 20 minutes. If the test is positive, travelers can continue into Abu Dhabi but must isolate either at a quarantined hotel or their accommodations, if visiting friends or family.  

6. Documents to present: Vaccinated tourists must present proof of their full (double) vaccination status via their home country’s official vaccination certificate via a mobile application or physical certificate and present a negative PCR test result obtained within the last 14 days. While unvaccinated tourists can enter by presenting a negative PCR test result obtained within the last 96 hours.

7. Quarantine

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  • Vaccinated: There will be no further testing or quarantine measures in Abu Dhabi.
  • Unvaccinated: If the traveler originally comes from a Green List country and through Dubai or the other emirates, they will not be required to quarantine once they arrive at Abu Dhabi. If the unvaccinated traveler originally comes from a non-Green List country and through Dubai or the other emirates, they will be required to quarantine for 10 days once they arrive in Abu Dhabi. If they spent some time in Dubai, or other emirates, ahead of Abu Dhabi, these days can be put towards the 10-day quarantine count.

8. Access to Abu Dhabi Attractions. To enter public attractions in Abu Dhabi, the majority of which allows access to vaccinated visitors only, visitors will need to present proof of their full (double) vaccination status via their home country’s official vaccination certificate or by their home country COVID response mobile application as well as present a negative PCR test result, obtained within the last 14 days.


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