Updated rules from 3 May 2021
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.
Entry rules differ in Abu Dhabi to the rest of the United Arab Emirates.
International arrivals into Abu Dhabi
For 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 to citizens of certain countries. However, strict testing measures and self-quarantine measures must still be followed.
The rules are frequently changing, with the latest updated taking effect from 3 May 2021 as follows:
- If you are from a “Green List” country you only need to self-quarantine until you get a negative PCR result after arrival, then again on Day 6.
- If you arrive from a Green List Country and are not vaccinated, then take a further PCR test on Day 12.
- Arrivals from all other countries not on the green list must self-quarantine for 10 days; a further PCR test is required on Day 8.
- If you are fully vaccinated and arriving from a country not on the green list, your self-quarantine period will be 5 days with a follow-up PCR test on Day 4.
- All arrivals into Abu Dhabi require a negative PCR test; depending on where you are flying from this must be no more than 48/72/96 hours before boarding your flight into AUH – Abu Dhabi International Airport.
- If you are under the 5 or 10-day self-quarantine you will be fitted with an electronic wristband; medical authorities will determine whether your quarantine can be completed in a private residence, hotel or specialised facility.
- Children under 12 years of age or with severe disabilities are exempt from PCR testing.
Residents no longer need to apply to return to Abu Dhabi but must follow the country guidelines as above.
You can learn more abour current entry requirements into Abu Dhabi on the Visit Abu Dhabi website.
Travelling to Abu Dhabi from Dubai or the Northern Emirates?
The border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai was closed in June 2020. It subsequently reopened in July 2020, however, you must now provide a negative COVID test result to cross from Dubai and the northern emirates into Abu Dhabi. This can be a PCR nasal swap test or a rapid DPI test at the border.
There has been an adaption to the rules travelling between Dubai and Abu Dhabi from 17 January.
Testing is still required both in order to enter Abu Dhabi and if you stay in Abu Dhabi for more than 4 days and then 8 consecutive days, further PCR testing is required as per this Government directive:
The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has updated procedures to enter Abu Dhabi from within the country, effective from Sunday, 17 January, as part of the proactive efforts and precautionary measures to contain and eliminate the spread of Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/MIkfqUEDZg— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) January 16, 2021
*Note that exemptions for those who have completed the UAE vaccine program only apply if you’ve had a PCR test in the precceeding 7 days to make your “E” or Gold Star icons active.
If you are travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, there is no border testing required for travelling in this direction.
Passengers who arrive at Dubai Airports but wish to end in Abu Dhabi must still undergo self-quarantine requirements listed above if they have not been in the UAE for 7/10 days.
*Important Update at 15 June 2021: Once you are in Abu Dhabi, it has become mandatory to present a “Green Pass” 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.