In an ongoing effort to control the spread of coronavirus, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has strict testing and quarantine measures in place for visitors and returning residents.
Take note that entry rules differ in Abu Dhabi from the rest of the United Arab Emirates.
Since 27 August 2021, all residents and visitors to Abu Dhabi regardless of what sort of visa they are travelling on will need pre-approval from ICA (Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship).
From 19 September 2021, the need to wear a tracker watch while self-quarantining has been abolished. All other information below relates to the latest Abu Dhabi entry rules from 5 September 2021.
International Arrivals into Abu Dhabi
For citizens, resident visa holders and tourists to Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has re-opened its borders for international tourism and will now be issuing visas on arrival and e-Visas to citizens of all countries if visiting criteria are met. However, strict testing and self-quarantine measures must still be followed.
The rules are frequently changing, with the latest update taking effect from 5 September 2021 as follows:
- All arrivals into Abu Dhabi must now apply for ICA approval before they fly – this is largely to determine your international movements prior to arriving and vaccine status. Non-residents will be issued with a UIN.
- Download the Alhosn App before you fly – this will record your vaccine information and any PCR tests performed within the UAE.
- Arriving into Abu Dhabi by air requires a negative PCR test from no more than 48 hours before boarding your flight.
- If you are arriving from a “Green List” country there is no self-quarantine on arrival.
- If you are vaccinated you will be given a PCR test on arrival and again on Day 6 if you stay in the Emirate.
- If you are not vaccinated, then take a test on arrival, Day 6 and Day 9.
- Arrivals from all other countries not on the green list:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you will be tested on arrival, the need to self-quarantine has been abolished for those 16+ with a WHO approved vaccine but you must take further PCR tests on Day 4 an Day 8.
- Unvaccinated you must self-quarantine for 10 days with a PCR test taken on arrival. Take a further PCR test on Day 9, if this is negative you are released from self-quarantine on Day 10.
- Children under 12 years of age or with severe disabilities are exempt from PCR testing
- Note an unvaccinated minor from a non-green list country is still subject to 10 days of quarantine, even if the vaccinated parents do not need to quarantine.
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From 27 August 2021: All incoming tourists must now register on the ICA website AT LEAST 5 DAYS BEFORE TRAVELLING so that their vaccine information can be uploaded onto the UAE “Alhosn” App. They will be issued with a QR Code and UIN – Unified Identification Number – in lieu of an Emirates ID number.
This pre-registration is not required for transit guests to AUH.
You can learn more about current entry requirements into Abu Dhabi on the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
Travelling to Abu Dhabi from Dubai or the Northern Emirates?
It is possible to arrive in Dubai or any other port in the UAE first, then transfer to Abu Dhabi but the same self-quarantine rules must be followed if you’re not vaccinated and from a non-green list country.
PLEASE NOTE DOMESTIC CHANGES FROM 19 SEPTEMBER 2021
The need to have a negative COVID test result to cross domestically between Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been abolished – learn more about the most recent rule change here.
We are seeking clarity if you are required to stop at the International Arrivals tent in Ghantoot still before crossing the Abu Dhabi border. However, the border crossing is now unmanned so it would appear you are free to come in but then responsible for self-enforcing your home quarantine on your arrival into Abu Dhabi emirate.
The fines are large if you do not comply with this self-quarantine.
*Important Update at 20 August 2021: Once you are in Abu Dhabi, it has become mandatory to present a “Green Pass” or “Green Status” on the Al Hosn App in order to enter public buildings and hospitality establishments. You can learn all about the Green Pass rules for Abu Dhabi here.
Without a PCR test result and “green status” on your Alhosn App you would not be able to enter an Abu Dhabi hotel. So if you are still in the compulsory self-quarantine period you’d need a private residence to stay in to complete the self-quarantine.
It is recommended if you are non-green list arrival into Dubai first and you are unvaccinated to not cross into Abu Dhabi emirate until you have completed a Day 9 test and have a negative result on Day 10. Your PCR result remains valid on the Alhosn App for 3 days if you are unvaccinated.
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