Vaccines need to be from the WHO approved list…

On Saturday August 28, 2021 the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced the news that the UAE would be opening up tourist visa applications for all nationalities, provided individuals have been fully vaccinated (two shots) with one of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of approved vaccines.

This update will come into force as of Monday, August 30, 2021.

A report from the Emirates News Agency (WAM) about the announcement said “The decision applies to citizens of all countries, including those arriving from the previously banned countries.”

“Arriving passengers on tourist visas must take mandatory rapid PCR test at the airport. The previous rules for unvaccinated, including exempted categories, remain in place.”

There were no specified changes to the current visa on arrival policy.

Approved vaccines

The WHO has currently approved six Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use:

Oxford–AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm-BBIBP, Moderna, Sinovac, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Mandatory PCR for some

Tourists arriving from some previously restricted destinations will be required to perform a rapid PCR test at the airport on arrival.


Although specific instructions on the minimum age requirement for vaccine proof have yet to be stipulated, if it follows the global average, those below 16 would be exempt from having to demonstrate vaccination status.

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How tourists can register their vaccination certificates on the Alhosn app

Vaccine certificates will be essential for those wishing to enter the UAE on these updated rules. This is how to get the certificates loaded into the system.

Step one, before you leave for the UAE, download the ICA app and fill in the form under the Register Arrival section. Here you’ll be able to upload your vaccination certificates and once completed, you’ll be sent an SMS with a link to download the Alhosn app. You’ll need to use the same phone number on the ICA app, as you use for the Alhosn app — we recommend that you use a UAE sim (you can change the registered phone number registered to the ICA via the ICA app).

Or if you’re visiting family, you could be added as an extra user on their app (linking to their phone number).

How to find your UID number

Next you’ll need a UID number, this can be provided at the airport when you arrive or via the ICA website. This is essential for setting up your profile on the Alhosn app. You’ll need to link a phone number to the Alhosn account (the same one you’ve used for the ICA) and as above, we recommend that it’s a UAE number.

One of the last stages of the registration process will be an OTP sent via SMS. You’ll also need a negative PCR test result before you can complete registration.

Images: Getty