The Abu Dhabi Green Pass and Al Hosn Covid-19 app explained for visitors and residents in Abu Dhabi
From 7 November 2022, the rules regarding green status on the Al Hosn app – a “Green Pass” to access public spaces was abolished by NCEMA
The information in this guide has now been superseded with the second stage of COVID restrictions being lifted in the United Arab Emirates – find the complete update to Abu Dhabi COVID rules here – effective 6:00 AM 7 November 2022.
We have kept all the information below to reflect Abu Dhabi’s situations before this latest round of rules easing.
What is Al Hosn?
The UAE’s Al Hosn app, which is the country’s official Covid-19 tracking app, provides details of an individual’s vaccination status and PCR test results.
According to the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee (NCEMA), from Friday, 20 August 2021, presenting a “green pass” or “green status” on your Al Hosn app (Alhosn) 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
(Swipe left for English)
Despite changes to other COVID rules over the past year, including the removal of capacity restrictions and mandatory face masks, the Al Hosn Green Pass is a lasting reminder that we’re still not completely finished with COVID restrictions in the UAE capital.
Information on this page was last updated on 10 October; Please make sure you’re getting your Green Pass information from the most relevant and up-to dates sources (NB, unfortunately, this isn’t always the Government website – their social channels can be more accurate)
How do I get “Green” on Al Hosn?
Getting and maintaining “Green Status” or a “Green Pass” on your Al Hosn app involves being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a WHO-approved vaccine and having a PCR test at least every 30 days (this has variously been 14/30 days; the last rule change as at 28 September made the testing period for those over the age of 16, 30 days once more).
If you are not vaccinated, or your first two vaccines were greater than 6 months ago, your PCR test results conducted in the UAE will still appear in the app, but your Al Hosn will appear grey. Grey prohibits entry to public buildings (you can still enter small supermarkets and pharmacies).
To regain your “green status”, you must get a booster vaccine dose (or gain a medical exemption via SEHA if there is a valid reason not to take the booster).
Here are the latest guidelines shared by Al Hosn:
What if I turn Red on Al Hosn?
If you have a positive PCR test, the Al Hosn app will turn Red, You will need to follow health department procedures (last updated 28 September 2022):
- According to the SEHA (the Abu Dhabi Health Authority), the present procedures only require you to visit a COVID-19 Prime Assessment Center if you’ve tested positive and you’re a chronic disease patient or aged over 65 years.
- You are told to take a second PCR test at a SEHA facility for all other cases, then self-isolate for 5 days.
- After 6 days, your Al Hosn will automatically turn green again, where it will last another 30 days (previously, this was 10 days and 60 days).
The designated COVID-19 Prime Assessment Centers are open daily between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm at:
- Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi
- Al Ain Convention Center in Al Ain
- Madinat Zayed City in Al Dhafra
Some public buildings and events may require you to have a negative PCR test result within 48/72/96 hours, in addition to showing the Green Al Hosn. This seems to change regularly, so check requirements if attending a particular event or Government building. For the most part, however, Green Al Hosn is all you should need.
Exemptions for the Green Pass
- If you have an approved exemption, then you must get a PCR test every 30 days to keep your Al Hosn Green.
- Children under 16 can be registered on the app but do not need PCR tests or a vaccine to turn green.
- New residents have a 60-day grace period to update their vaccine schedule.
Unvaccinated individuals now have access to the Al Hosn Green Pass
If you are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, the Green Pass rules changed again on 28 September 2022. You can now get Green Status on the Al Hosn app with a PCR test within 7 days (previously, this was 48 hours).
Al Hosn Changes For Cruise Passengers
On 10 October 2022, the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism announced that cruise passengers and crew would not need to use the Al Hosn app with the presentation of a cruise card or a wristband.
Circular| Cruise ship passengers and crew are no longer required to follow the Green Pass procedures in order to enter tourist attractions and establishments. Instead, they can enter using cards or wristbands issued by cruise ships. pic.twitter.com/gCXewz9ELL— Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (@dctabudhabi) October 10, 2022
The exact format of this exemption is still yet to be seen, but rest assured, if you’ve met the health and safety requirements to board the cruise that’s docking at Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi, you will no longer need to mess around with getting your PCR tests, and Alhosn sorted to enjoy the best of Abu Dhabi on a stopover.
Mask Rule Update
Together with the use of the Al Hosn app, wearing face masks has been a key preventative measure used in Abu Dhabi since the Coronavirus outbreak.
On 28 September 2022, NCEMA announced the removal of mandatory masks indoors for most situations.
Rules are still in place for hospitals and health care facilities, houses of worship, public transport, and food handlers in the hospitality industry.
Wearing masks on airlines is at the airlines’ discretion and subject to the destination they are flying to (Etihad have already announced masks can be removed inbound to Abu Dhabi; outbound rules are subject to the rules of the destination airport).
Otherwise, wearing face masks is now optional in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
#NCEMA: During our media briefing today, we announce the loosening of COVID-19-related restrictions nationwide, as well as the updates to all sectors, which will be in force from 28th September, 2022.— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 26, 2022
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 Al Hosn App in order to prove their status. So what do you need to do if planning a trip to Abu Dhabi?
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.
Visitors to the UAE have been assured that even as non-residents, they will have access to the Al Hosn app.
Although the Al Hosn 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, you will need to apply to the ICA at least five days before your arrival to get your Unified Identification Number (UID). Once registered, passengers are issued with a QR code and can subsequently use the Al Hosn App.
Only PCR tests carried out in the UAE will appear on the Alhosn app.
The only exemption is as mentioned above, for cruise ship passengers and crew.
Compulsory PCR testing at Abu Dhabi International Airport has been abolished. However, those still wanting to take a PCR on arrival – a necessity if you want to activate your Al Hosn – can still undertake the test at the airport for a cost of 40AED pp.
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 adult’s phone if they don’t have their own device.
Children under 16 should be added to a parent’s Al Hosn App using their Emirates ID or UID if a tourist. (NB the App may only allow the child to be attached to one phone number, this will be the number given when completing your forms or when a PCR test is taken).
The COVID-19 vaccination program in Abu Dhabi has currently been rolled out to children as young as 3 years old for Sinopharm and 5 years old for the Pfizer vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccines 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.
This information can now be pre-loaded in the Al Hosn App before you travel (those already in the UAE prior to 27 August 2021 can apply from within the UAE).
Although the Al Hosn is considered compulsory, many visitors are reporting they are having no problems getting into places with a copy of their vaccine reports and a negative PCR test in lieu of the app.
UAE residents who have received a first dose or booster vaccine in another country are reporting difficulties in uploading their subsequent overseas vaccines in the Al Hosn App.
To resolve this, please visit a SEHA clinic in Abu Dhabi (no appointment needed). Medical staff will assess your vaccine details, upload them to Al Hosn and provide an exemption from needing a UAE booster after six months. This should keep your status Green after the 20 September 2021 grace period.
The critical part here is continuing to be regularly tested for COVID-19 and keeping your vaccine up to date.
The testing period stretches out after you’re vaccinated but does not disappear. If you receive Sinopharm first, your vaccine must be updated after six months. Whilst vaccinated, your negative PCR Test result only lasts for 30 days.
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 insurance may cover it. The standard price (now regulated) is 40 AED per PCR test. Results take around 12 to 24 hours to appear on the Al Hosn app.
If you urgently need a test, many companies now offer rush PCR’s, results available in 1 to 3 hours depending on the company you use and how much you’re willing to pay for the rush.
No. Whilst Dubai residents and visitors can also use the Al Hosn 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.
Depending on their licence, individual establishments in Dubai and the Northern Emirates may require you to show a negative PCR test result to enter. Bars, for example, have stricter requirements than restaurants (these look to be all but abolished now as at October 2022).
Yes, as a tourist to Abu Dhabi, whether staying in the Abu Dhabi emirate, Dubai emirate or anywhere in the UAE, you will need a valid “Green Pass”on Al Hosn, or evidence of a recent PCR test in order to enter the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi (in addition to meeting the Mosque’s strict dress code requirements).
The only exemption to this was introduced on 10 October 2022 for cruise ship passengers and crew. We can confirm this applies to those arriving in Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi.
We are seeking clarity if cruise passengers arriving at Rashid Port in Dubai will have the same exemption if they take a shore excursion to Abu Dhabi emirate.
There are ways that you can briefly greet AUH stopover passengers without Al Hosn.
If you stay within the airport, even land side, you will not need Alhosn. Your stopover visitor could also come to your private home for a few hours or visit the outside area of a cafe near the airport (try places in Etihad Plaza or Al Muneera Beach Plaza, both less than a 10-minute taxi ride away with outdoor seating).
Don’t forget if they’re taking any sort of public transport during a short stopover, a face mask will be needed for this.
Visiting a tourist attraction or indoor dining, you and your stopover guest will need Al Hosn.
Dubai emirate does not require the use of Al Hosn.
If you are visiting both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it would be wise to get your PCR test done before crossing into Abu Dhabi emirate. On-the-spot testing may be possible at some venues (eg we’ve heard the Yas Island Theme Parks are offering rapid test), but we’d play it safe and get your test before you visit.
f you are using the re-instated intercity bus service, you will need to show your Green status Al Hosn at the bus station in Dubai.
The Green Pass system was first introduced on 15 June 2021 with different categories for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals but was quickly put on pause. The latest iteration from Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disaster Committee now omits regular PCR testing for unvaccinated individuals from the Green Pass.
The only way to get your Al Hosn Green is to have a valid vaccination loaded or an exemption (with an up-to-date PCR test result if applicable).
If you have only received two doses of Pfizer and have not taken any previous vaccines (such as Sinopharm), you are most likely due a booster dose. Since the Green Pass was introduced, they gave a one-month grace period for Sinopharm recipients to get a booster.
This grace period has now ended. Now as a minimum, you must have had your two doses of Pfizer + a booster after six months. If you go a day over that 6 months, your app instantly turns grey.
If you had two doses of Sinopharm initially, then two doses of Pfizer, your app will remain green as long as you have regular negative PCR results at least every 14 days.
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.
Note that the app no longer allows you to screenshots; you must have an active app.
Often the issues occur when visitors use a different phone number in the UAE than when they first registered for the app. You can either give the number of a relative locally to overcome this issue or call the Alhson helpline which we share below.
From within the Al Hosn App, you can send a PDF copy of your results to another device or App.
Al Hosn: 800 HOSN (800 4676 – within UAE only) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Health and Prevention: 800 11111 or email@example.com
SEHA COVID-19 enquiries hotline: 8001717
Al Hosn App issues: firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp service 056 334 6740
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.
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