With periodical changes, and different rules for PCR and DPI, and for those that have been vaccinated here, and those that have not — it can be difficult to keep track of what the official rules are at any given time. Despite it being crucially important.

This resource is an attempt to collate and make clear all of the current rules and regulations for entering Abu Dhabi, whether by plane or by car.

What are the current rules for entering Abu Dhabi ?

Entering by road

For vaccinated see: UAE citizens and residents who received their second dose at least 28 days earlier, documented in the vaccine report on Alhosn app.

New rules as of August 20, 2021:

For those that are vaccinated

Those with a Green Status and an active E in their Alshosn app — that is those people that have received both doses of a UAE-approved vaccine more than 28 days ago, and have received a negative PCR result within the last seven days; and those with a Star — individuals that have completed their part in the Abu Dhabi vaccine trials more than 28 days ago and have had a negative PCR result within the last seven days — will be permitted access to Abu Dhabi via the road borders.

And importantly, no further PCR testing is required if remaining in the emirate.

For those that are unvaccinated

You’ll need to be able to show a negative PCR test obtained within 48 hours of attempted entry, displayed on the Alhosn app.

Those entering with a PCR test must retake a PCR test on day four of entry for those staying four days of more. An additional PCR test must be taken on day eight for those staying eight days or more.

Remember if you’re unvaccinated, over 16 and without a verified Alhosn exception, you will not be permitted entry to almost all public spaces under new Green Pass rules.

DPI (vaccinated or unvaccinated)

As before DPI test cannot be used to enter Abu Dhabi consecutive times (if you did a DPI test last time, you need to do a PCR the next time).
Those entering via DPI must take a PCR test on day three of entry for those staying 48 hours or more, and take an additional PCR test on day seven for those staying seven days or more

If you have travelled back from a non Green List country within the last 12 days, you’ll need to follow the procedures before. You may be asked to stay in Dubai until the quarantine period specified below (12 or seven depending on vaccination status) has passed, as tracking bracelets are not guaranteed on the road border.

Entering by air

For vaccinated see: UAE citizens and residents who received their second dose at least 28 days earlier, documented in the vaccine report on Alhosn app.

All travellers flying into Abu Dhabi require a negative PCR result within 72 hours of their scheduled departure, regardless of vaccination status.

From August 27, you’ll need to fill on the ICA Smart Travel Form before you fly to AUH. If you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll need to register no less than five days before your flight.

Flying from a Green List country

Most recent rule update September 6, 2021.

There will be a PCR test on arrival for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, and neither group are required to quarantine if the arrival test is negative.

Vaccinated passengers will no longer need to quarantine, but you will need to take a PCR test on arrival, day four and on day eight. (the day you arrive is considered day 1). You will need to upload your vaccination certificates to the ICA website five days prior to the departure date.

Unvaccinated passengers arriving from Green List countries are required to take a PCR test on day six after arriving in the capital and day nine.

Flying from a non Green List Country

Most recent rule update July 5, 2021.

Vaccinated passengers will need to quarantine for seven days and take a PCR test on arrival and on day six.

Unvaccinated passengers will need to quarantine for 10 days, taking PCR tests on arrival and on day nine.

Those required to quarantine will have to wear a tracker bracelet, in order to ensure isolation orders are not broken. Individuals found to be breaking the rules will face heavy fines.

Green countries (as of July 31)

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Moldova
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America

Travel corridors

If you have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (final dose received at least 28 days before travel), you will also not be required to quarantine when you travel between Abu Dhabi and the following countries: Bahrain, Greece, Serbia and Seychelles.

Proof of vaccine required for accessing public spaces in Abu Dhabi

As of August 20 — only people able to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, will be permitted entry to almost all public spaces, shops and eateries. From September 20, 2021 — fully vaccinated will only apply to those that have received a third ‘booster’ shot.

Those places include malls restaurants, cafes, and all other retail outlets, including those not within a shopping centre, gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centres and theme parks, universities, institutes, public and private schools and children nurseries in the emirate.

As of August 15 — individuals will be able to register certificates for the approved vaccines (that’s AstraZeneca (or Covishield), Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik and Sinopharm) obtained overseas via the ICA Smart app or the smartservices.ica.gov.ae.

From September 20 — “to maintain the vaccinated status on Alhosn app, a booster dose must be taken six months after receiving the second dose per the medical protocol for each vaccine”.

Which means you’ll have to follow the booster rules for Sinopharm/Pfizer, depending on your vaccination history.


If you’re a tourist or have received your vaccine overseas, follow these procedures to get your vaccines recognised by the Alhosn app.

Images: Getty