The Abu Dhabi Green Pass and Alhosn Covid-19 app explained for newcomers to Abu Dhabi
From June 15, 2021, only those with green status on the Alhosn app – a “Green Pass” will be permitted to access a variety of the city’s attractions and public spaces
UPDATE 18 JUNE 2021: Issues with the Alhosn App have resulted in delayed implementation of the rules mentioned below.
The UAE’s Alhosn app, which is the country’s official Covid-19 tracking app, provides details of an individual’s vaccination status and PCR test results. It also contains a “track and trace” function.
According to the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee (NCEMA), from Tuesday, June 15, 2021 presenting a “green pass” on your Alhosn app will be mandatory in order to access venues including:
• Restaurants, bars and cafés
• Hotels (and facilities within)
• Private beaches and swimming pools
• Shopping malls
• Large supermarkets
• Entertainment centres
• Public parks
• Public beaches
Getting and maintaining “Green Status” or a “Green Pass” on your Alhosn app involves a combination of both becoming vaccinated against Covid-19 AND having a recent negative PCR test.
The duration your Alhosn app stays green for after having a PCR test will depend on your vaccination status. The UAE government has outlined the six categories which will entitle you to the green pass:
Category 1: For anyone who has received the second dose of a vaccine at least 28 days ago or is taking part in vaccine trials AND has a negative PCR test result. The Alhosn status will be green for 30 days, as well as show the active icon (letter E or the gold star only stay active for seven days).
Category 2: For people who have received their second dose less than 28 days earlier AND have a negative PCR test result. The green status will appear for 14 days.
Category 3: For those who have received their first dose and are waiting for their second dose appointment AND have a negative PCR test result. Their Alhosn status will change to green for seven days.
Category 4: For people who have received their first dose and are late to their second dose appointment by 48 days or more AND have a negative PCR test result. The app’s status will be green for three days.
Category 5: For those with vaccine exemption certificates as per approved processes AND have a negative PCR test result. They will see the Alhosn status appear in green for seven days.
Category 6: For those who are unvaccinated and do not have exemption AND have a negative PCR test result. This will see the app’s status change to green for three days.
For all of the above, Alhosn’s status will turn grey when the relevant PCR test validity ends. It will turn red when the test result is positive and government isolation procedures will need to be followed.
When either of those statuses shows, people will not be allowed into any of the above facilities. This is enforced from Tuesday, 15 June 2021.
Frequently asked questions on the Abu Dhabi Green Pass
This understandably still raises quite a few questions for tourists and residents. It requires every person over the age of 16 to be in possession of a mobile phone, have internet access and a working Alhosn App in order to prove their status. So what do you need to do if planning a trip to Abu Dhabi?
We’ve done our best to update this information as at the system launch date of 15 June 2021:
The Alhosn or Al Hosn App can be downloaded from Apple or Google Play store.
The app is “whitelisted” with telecommunication providers in the UAE so it will work even if you have no data or wifi connection. It will not work outside of the UAE.
Visitors to the UAE have been assured that even as non-residents they will have access to the Alhosn app.
Although the Alhosn app asks users to fill in their Emirates ID number, a “Unified ID” can be used instead. This number appears on your Visa document if you are arriving on a pre-arranged visit Visa.
For Visa on Arrival visitors who only get a passport stamp, no official document is issued, this has been more challenging. Immigration is supposed to be able to issue you with a Unified Number – contact www.ica.gov.ae for more information. At the time of publishing, many visitors are still reporting problems being able to access the app.
At this stage, it’s not possible to show on the App any negative PCR test result received prior to arrival in the country. it will only start recording PCR tests after you are set up and in the country.
The age limit that has been set on the Green Pass being required is 16 years of age. Any person over 16 must be vaccinated and/or hold a negative PCR test result for the green pass to work and must have access to a mobile device to display their “Green Pass” – this can be added to another adults phone if they don’t have their own device.
The Covid-19 vaccination program in Abu Dhabi has currently been rolled out as far as children of at least 12 years of age. Predominantly residents have been given either Sinopharm or Pfizer vaccines. They are free to all residents and available at multiple hospitals and SEHA clinics across the city. Recently rules have changed so that those with expired visas can also receive the vaccine.
Please consult the official UAE Government website for further advice on eligibility if you’re a non-resident and any further information on Vaccines and PCR Testing in the UAE.
Presently, this information cannot be uploaded in the Alhosn App. They are still working on ways that overseas tourists and new arrivals can upload existing vaccine certificates. Visitors, for now, will have to follow the guidelines for those who are unvaccinated.
There are, however, ways that you can apply for an exemption which will show in due course on your Alhosn app. Visitors in this situation should contact Istijaba on 800 1717 for further information. (We understand it involves an appointment being made at a SEHA Government health clinic to determine the validity of your exemption face to face).
Until this system is fully in place, any vaccinated individual from overseas, or resident with a pre-existing condition that exempts them will be given a printed official report until it can be reflected in the app.
The critical part here is continuing to be regularly tested for Covid-19. The testing period stretches out after you’re vaccinated but does not disappear. Your testing regime will depend on what category you fall into as set out above.
The PCR test can be taken at any SEHA (Government) clinic or drive through, or there are numerous hospitals and clinics offering the service privately. It is a paid service unless you’re being seen symptomatically in a hospital where it may be covered by insurance. On average, as at June 2021, the standard price seems to have dropped to 65 AED per PCR test. Results take around 12 to 24 hours to appear on the Alhosn app.
No. Whilst Dubai residents and visitors can also use the Alhosn app for collating their results, vaccine status and track & trace, the Green Pass system of needing to show your app has not been introduced as a mandatory requirement in Dubai or any other Emirate in the UAE.
Individual establishments in Dubai, depending on what sort of licence they have, may require you to show a negative PCR test result to enter. Bars for example, have stricter requirements than restaurants.
Residents and visitors coming from Dubai to Abu Dhabi must first ensure they are following the correct domestic border crossing procedure as outlined here.
If you are able to cross the border into Abu Dhabi, the Green Pass rules then apply. You should have the Alhosn app on your phone already for the border crossing, and it will remain green for a certain number of days, as per the categories outlined above.
Unfortunately, ongoing bugs do still seem to be reported in the app. The best advice is to try and uninstall and reinstall the app again seems to resolve the issue. The guidelines we have is that there is no getting around the presentation of your Green Pass; businesses that allow anyone to do so would face steep fines so the onus is on individuals to ensure they’ve got the app working before arriving or face being turned away.
Al Hosn: 800 HOSN (800 4676 – within UAE only) or email@example.com
Ministry of Health and Prevention: 800 11111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SEHA COVID-19 enquiries hotline: 8001717
Alhosn App issues: email@example.com or WhatsApp service 056 334 6740
The system is still very new so will no doubt have some inital teething issues but is designed in the interest of public safety and will assist in the further opening of Abu Dhabi’s borders.
Before you go… Important things to consider 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 as well as 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
We have gathered this information from publicly available sources. We cannot help with questions about your individual circumstances. Please see the Government contact details in the body of this article for further information.