In a huge turning point for the UAE in the battle against COVID-19, restrictions on International Arrivals into the United Arab Emirates were lifted on 26 February 2022.
Vaccinated Travellers to the UAE
In changes that will apply to the entirety of the 7 Emirates of the UAE, tourist and returning residents no longer need a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated.
Travellers will need to present a valid vaccination certificate with QR code showing they have received an approved vaccine by WHO or the UAE.
Travellers entering the emirate of Abu Dhabi will still be tested on arrival. This takes place at Abu Dhabi airport. You do not need to quarantine while awaiting results.
Unvaccinated Travellers to the UAE
It’s not all bad news if you are unvaccinated. Unvaccinated travellers to the UAE must present a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours before departure to fly, or a valid medical certificate showing they have recovered from COVID-19 within one month from the date of arrival.
Other COVID Rule Changes in Abu Dhabi from 26 February 2022
A raft of changes were announced to come into effect from 26 February, including:
- Removal of compulsory face mask wearing when outside (they must still be warn at indoor public venues)
- Positive COVID cases no longer required to wear a tracking wristband in Abu Dhabi
- Close contacts no longer need to isolate but do need daily PCR tests for 5 days in Abu Dhabi (not required in Dubai)
- Tourist attractions and events can increase capacity to 90%
NB – whilst announcements are made at a federal level in the UAE, often Emirates can decide on the enforcement of individual rules as they relate to public venues. A number of things differ between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, be aware of these nuances when travelling between Emirates, and particularly if attending events.
International Arrivals into Abu Dhabi
Note that the previous “Green list” system for identifying travellers who need to quarantine on arrival has been abolished for Abu Dhabi from 26 February 2022.
You will only need to quarantine now if the PCR test you took on arrival (or any subsequent tests taken in the UAE) show you are COVID-19 positive.
The only subsequent PCR test you should need as an international arrival is if you remain in Abu Dhabi more than 14 days, or if required for your return flight or next destination.
PCR tests in Abu Dhabi are offered at a regulated price of 50 AED for results within 24 to 48 hours and are available at numerous locations across the emirate, including within health clinics and even shopping malls. Rush results will cost you more but can be turned around in under 5 hours.
Changes to Dubai – Abu Dhabi Border crossing
The domestic border police checkpoints on the freeways between Dubai and Abu Dhabi will also be abolished from 28 February 2022.
It’s not the first time that the border has been removed, previously coming down for a period of 3 months from 19 September 2021. The border checkpoint barriers will remain in place and may be returned to use should case numbers increase again in 2022, and the authorities deem it necessary.
Rest assured, though, it’s much easier to transit between the emirates now. Make sure once you’re in Abu Dhabi emirate, you abide by the prevailing “Al Hosn Green Pass” rules.
There have never been any restrictions travelling from Abu Dhabi emirate into Dubai.
Al Hosn Green Pass in Abu Dhabi
The Green Pass rules still change from time to time, but primarily to keep and maintain the Green Pass on the Al Hosn App, vaccinated individuals need to register their vaccine with ICA before their arrival in the UAE, and have a negative PCR test result every 14 days.
You need a green pass to enter pretty much any public building whilst in Abu Dhabi. It is not required at most venues in Dubai, with the big exception of Expo 2020.
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner