After doors to Abu Dhabi firmly shut in March 2020, the first steps towards a return to tourism came today with the announcement that Abu Dhabi (as well as five other Emirates) would reintroduce tourist visas with immediate effect.
Dubai – which runs its own immigration service and crisis authority – re-introduced tourist visas from 7 July 2020. The other six Emirates delayed the re-introduction until 24 September 2020.
In announcing the news, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said the move would “support recovery plans for the country’s tourism sector and economy”.
Each of the Emirates has slightly different entry requirements and quarantine rules.
What about Quarantine in Abu Dhabi?
Quarantine rules for arrivals into Abu Dhabi remain unchanged. The present procedure for new arrivals into Abu Dhabi is:
- Passengers must present a negative COVID test result (valid within 96 hours) before boarding a flight to AUH (Under 12’s and those with disabilities are exempt)
- On arriving into Abu Dhabi you will be given a further PCR test
- All visitors into AUH must self-quarantine for 14 days, either in a private home, hotel or accommodation provided by the authorities
- To ensure adherence to self-quarantine rules, new arrivals into AUH are fitted with a tracking wristband
- On Day 12 you must conduct a further PCR test at a SEHA Public Health Center
- If this is negative, you can return the wristband on Day 14
You can see the full arrivals information issued by Etihad here.
If you have arrived into the UAE from any other port, then cross the border into Abu Dhabi, you still must complete the 14 days of quarantine from your date of first arrival into the UAE. Any days you have spent in other Emirates will be deducted from the 14 day quarantine period in Abu Dhabi.
You can see a detailed guide on how to cross the domestic border from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here.
What next for Abu Dhabi Tourism?
The vast majority of malls, hotels and tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi have now re-opened post-COVID, albeit under strict safety guidelines, including restrictions in numbers. You can read more about these re-openings here including:
The 14-day quarantine rule will no doubt continue to deter most visitors for some time to come. However, it is positive news for residents in Abu Dhabi who’ve been waiting for family to come and visit and those looking to start their new expat journey in Abu Dhabi.