Those arriving from ‘Green List’ countries, regions, and territories will only have to isolate until negative PCR result…

In what will likely be a gift at the very top of many family wishlists, Abu Dhabi government is preparing for a complete overhaul of the emirate’s entry restrictions, to come into effect from December 24.

The policy changes will mainly affect tourists coming from overseas, with passengers from some countries, regions, and territories on a ‘Green List’ now able to travel into the country with a greatly-reduced quarantine period.

The self-isolation period for these ‘Green countries, regions, and territories’ is only as long as it takes to receive a negative result from the PCR test administered on arrival into Abu Dhabi Airport (or one of the other entry points, prior to arriving by road).

The Green List will be accessible at

Those travelling into Abu Dhabi from countries, regions, and territories not on the Green List will have a reduced quarantine period of 10 days (previously 14).

The list will be updated every 14 days.

PCR tests will still have to be taken by all international travellers on arrival, on day six and day 12 for everyone staying these durations.

Updates to road border

As of December 24, there will also be an update to the road border checkpoint between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Negative PCR/DPI tests are still required to enter the emirate of Abu Dhabi, though now entry will be valid from 72 hours of receiving the negative result (previously it was 48 hours).

Those crossing road borders into Abu Dhabi after arriving into another emirate will have to follow rules as above (10 day quarantine for non-green countries, regions, and territories).

Those that took part in phase III trials of the vaccine in the National Vaccination Programme (with a Golden Star or letter E in their AlHosn app) will be exempt.

Restrictions on travel have been in place since March of this year. A series of measures put in place to control the pandemic and its potential spread.

Will I still be able to get a DPI test on the border?

No. The DPI testing centres on road borders between Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be closing from December 24.

It’s unclear at the time of writing if the other DPI screening centres in Dubai (Mina Rashed and Al Khawaneej) will remain open. But they still appear to be taking bookings on the SEHA app.

Which tourists can come to Abu Dhabi?

Entry will be based on a grading system. Countries, regions, and territories designated as part of a ‘Green List’ and will be able to enter the emirate, observing quarantine only until they receive a negative test.

Those coming from the non-safe list will have to follow current 10-day quarantine rules.

What do I need to travel into Abu Dhabi Airport (from overseas)?

Travellers will still have to have had a negative PCR test 96 hours prior to travel and fill in a form (available from airlines/destination airports) stating location and contact details for duration of stay in Abu Dhabi.

A further Covid-19 test will be required at the airport on arrival.

Update to quarantine period for those in contact with people infected with the virus

Interestingly Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee also reduced the period of self-isolation for those that come into contact with other infected with the virus to 10 days (previously 14). Providing they take a test on the eighth day and recieve a negative result.

When will tourism activities reopen in Abu Dhabi?

On December 10, Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for Covid-19 Pandemic announced that all economic, tourism, cultural and entertainment activities in Abu Dhabi will fully resume before the end of the year.

Both this rule and the relaxation of entry requirements have been made possible thanks to “the success achieved by implementing precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 and maintain a low rate of cases”.

What about events in Abu Dhabi?

The updates to policy could open the door for getting a seat at some huge sporting events destined for the capital next year.

Assuming that spectator-attended sporting events (albeit with limited capacity) will be part of those activities, that means that we could be seeing tickets on sale for the upcoming January 23, UFC257 event, almost certainly involving a Conor McGregor comeback bout against Dustin Poirier.

Dana White recently teased that the event would likely be held at the new Etihad Arena.

White is also on record as saying: “We will go back home (the US), do a bunch of fights at home and then we should be ready to do some international fights, title fights and things like that by the end of January or early February.”

Images: Getty