Abu Dhabi has reopened for tourism as of December 24 and is allowing all visa-on-arrival eligible nations to visit, with a ‘green’ list of 16 countries that may enter quarantine-free.
At a time when we are seeing almost every country announce new closures, restrictions and cancellations, Abu Dhabi’s reopening is some positive news in an otherwise bleak travel environment, even if the entry requirements are a little complex.
H.E Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi’s government and health authorities have put in place the highest possible safety standards, and its guidelines continue to be rigorous and effective, allowing us to welcome international travellers without compromising public health.”
Their new ’Go Safe’ certification brings confirmation from health and safety inspectors that hotels, cultural sites, entertainment venues, malls and other hospitality and tourism establishments are fully complying with safety standards, allowing tourists to return with confidence.
Green Country List
Nations that are considered ‘safe’ have been put onto a ‘green’ list by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health and will be renewed every two weeks. Any traveler coming from a country on the green list will not have to fulfill the quarantine requirements and will only be subject to the testing requirements (more on those below.)
Currently, the green list of countries includes:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
The inclusion of Greece onto Abu Dhabi’s ‘green’ list is suspected to be because of reciprocity and not based on the nation’s epidemiological status, which is recording much higher case numbers than other nations included on the list.
Greece has been the only EU nation to allow visitors from the UAE, in which it seems the UAE is holding out a hand to Greece in reciprocity for Abu Dhabi’s reopening.
Most countries not included on the green list can still travel to Abu Dhabi, as long as they qualify for a visa on arrival and they agree to fulfill a quarantine requirement of 10 days.
All Covid-Related Entry Requirements for Abu Dhabi
From ‘green’ countries = no quarantine
All other countries = 10-day quarantine with a wristband
In order to board your flight for Abu Dhabi, all passengers must perform a PCR test no longer than 96 hours before departure and show proof of the negative results. Passengers coming from the UK will only have a 72-hour window.
Test on Arrival
All passengers will also be given a PCR test upon arrival. Even if you are traveling from a country on the ‘green’ list, you must isolate until test results become available, usually 12-24 hours.
Test on Day 6 and Day 12 for Green Countries
Travelers who are coming from ‘green’ list countries and therefore exempt from the 10-day quarantine must also take a PCR test on day 6 and day 12 of their trip.
Test on Day 8 for Quarantine Countries
Travelers who are coming from countries NOT included on the ‘green’ list, and who are required to quarantine for 10 days, must take a PCR test on day 8 of their trip in order to be released from quarantine on day 10 and have the wristband removed.
Passengers under 12 years of age are exempt from testing.
Visa On Arrival
During the pandemic, Abu Dhabi has suspended all visa services with the exception of their visa on arrival program at the airport. Therefore, any foreign citizen that is eligible for a visa on arrival is permitted to travel to Abu Dhabi at this time.
Visa on arrival is available for citizens of the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong (SAR of China)
- New Zealand
- People’s Republic of China
- Republic of Mauritius
- Republic of El Salvador
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- South Korea
- The Vatican
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Abu Dhabi has announced that any UAE resident who is participating in the vaccination trials or the National Vaccination Programme will also be exempt from quarantine, even if they are coming from a country not included on the ‘green’ list. This is currently only for UAE residents, but it does show some progression on nations starting to modify entry requirements based on vaccine exposure.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories