These are the most up-to-date rules for entering Abu Dhabi as of Jan 2022…

ARTICLE UPDATED JANUARY 18, 2022

With all the changes to rules and regulations for travelling into the capital, updates that have been necessary to balance safety with normality in the capital, it’s important to keep yourself up to date on the latest requirements and restrictions.

This guide is all about explaining simply, the most important up-to-date rules for accessing Abu Dhabi, and public spaces within the emirate.

And your starting point really should be the Alhosn Green Pass.

What is the Alhosn Green Pass?

The Alhosn Green Pass is essentially a traffic light app, showing your current Covid-19 test and vaccination status, and like the wearing of face masks, it’s pretty much essential for travel into and around Abu Dhabi.

It’s free and available from Apple, Google Play, Samsung Store and AppGallery. The app has many functions but its main ones are storing your vaccination data (residents vaccinated in the UAE should have their information loaded automatically, tourists vaccinated overseas should follow the guide below for how to upload their certificates into the system), and showing any recent PCR tests linked to your account.

For residents, the Alhosn app will require your Emirates ID number. Tourists will need to use the UID number from their visa (more info below).

Colour coding

Once updated, the main profile of your app will show a QR code and a status with one of three colours: Green, grey and red. Green means you’re up to date with vaccinations, and you’ve had a recent PCR test.

As of January 16, 2022 — to maintain a fully vaccinated status, and be eligible for the Green Pass, you are required to have a booster six months after your second dose. This applies to all vaccine types.

Grey means either you’re not fully vaccinated (or your vaccines are not reflecting in the app), or you need at least one more PCR (you may require two if you have entered the UAE recently, the app will let you know when).

Red means that you are Covid positive, if you’re over 50, have relatively severe symptoms, have a chronic disease or are pregnant — you’re instructed to visit one of the Prime Assessment Centres for medical check and isolation instructions.

To end isolation, you’ll either need two negative PCR results at least 24 hours apart; or complete 10 days of isolation (with at least three symptomless days at the end of isolation), with PCR tests on days eight and 10.

Everybody else: You’re advised to retest in any health centre in the emirate, and continue to isolate. If that test is positive, you’ll be contacted by a specialist to advise on isolation procedures. If that second test is negative, you’ll need to take a further test 24 hours later and if that’s also negative, you’re free to end isolation.

For more information, check our full guide on quarantine rules.

What about close contact?

Those found to be in close contact will receive an SMS message with a link for booking a PCR test and to register for home quarantine. The mandatory period of self isolation is seven days for individuals that are fully vaccinated, 10 days for those unvaccinated.

If the test is positive, you’re instructed to follow the rules stated above.

If the test is negative, you’ll still need to quarantine, but must take a PCR test on day six of the isolation. This test can be conducted in any health facility. If that result is negative, you are free to resume activities as normal.

For more information, check our full guide on quarantine rules.

How long does the Green Pass last?

For people that have been fully vaccinated (that is — have had both doses of the vaccine, and a booster shot after six months of receiving your second dose) — a Green Pass status will be valid for 14 days from a negative PCR test.

Note that your vaccines need to be reflected in the Alhosn app for you to achieve this status.

Those with active, doctor-approved, exemptions will hold a valid Green Pass Status for a period of seven days from a negative PCR test.

Children under 16 are not required to take PCR tests.

If you’re having issues with your Alhosn app

If you’re experiencing problems with the app, there is a support service — ISTIJABA. You can reach the pandemic knowledge hub by calling 800 1717 within the UAE or (00971) 800 1717 from outside the country.

Visit our troubleshooting guide for more info.

What are the current entry rules for Abu Dhabi ?

Entering Abu Dhabi by road

As of December 31, 2021 vaccinated individuals wishing to enter Abu Dhabi by road will now have to show an Alhosn Green Pass. Unvaccinated individuals will need to show a negative PCR test obtained with 96 hours.

These new requirements will be rolled out in addition to EDE scanning on the border crossing points. It’s all part of pre-emptive measures, conceived by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee to protect public health and minimise the impact of new Covid-19 variants.

For information on how tourists can set up their own Alhosn pass, with vaccination certificates from their home countries, please see below.

Entering Abu Dhabi by Air

Who needs to quarantine

Updates to Abu Dhabi’s entry policy have meant that since early September fully vaccinated individuals, have not been required to quarantine, regardless of nationality and or where they have come from.

To qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’ the jabs must have been one of the vaccines must be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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). You’ll need to have had both doses more than 28 days ago, and if you’ve had Sinopharm in Abu Dhabi more than six months ago, you’ll need to have had a third jab — reflecting in the Alhosn app.

Unvaccinated passengers from Green List countries are also not obliged to quarantine if they return a negative PCR result from their arrival PCR test. Unvaccinated passengers from non-Green List countries will have to quarantine for a period of 10 days (the day you arrive is considered day 1).

What is the Green List?

The Abu Dhabi ‘Green List’ of countries is a collection of international territories that have been deemed as a low-risk of bringing Covid-19 into the emirate. The list is compiled through a thorough analysis of pandemic management criteria, in areas such as infection and vaccination rates, government policy, entry requirements and testing protocol.

The Green List is updated periodically in line with international health developments. And making it onto the list requires destinations to satisfy a strict set of health and safety criteria.

This means that passengers arriving from these destinations, regardless of vaccination status, will not have to undergo the quarantine period but will have to take a PCR test when they arrive at the Abu Dhabi airport.

As of Monday, January 3, 2022 the full Green List is:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burma
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong (SAR)
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Netherlands
  • Morocco
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Seychelles
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Yemen
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan

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.

PCR requirements for arrival from Green List countries

No passengers arriving from Green List countries will have to quarantine — regardless of vaccination status (although if you’re unvaccinated, you will be restricted from visiting most public spaces — as it’s a required element of the Alhosn Green Pass, which is essential for entering almost all places in the capital).

Everyone will need to take at least one PCR test however.

Vaccinated passengers arriving from Green List countries will need a PCR on arrival, and on day six.

Unvaccinated passengers arriving from Green List countries will need a PCR on arrival, and on day six and nine.

PCR and quarantine for arrival from non Green List countries

Vaccinated passengers arriving from non-Green List countries will need a PCR on arrival, and on days four and eight.

Unvaccinated passengers arriving from non-Green List countries must quarantine for 10 days, and will need a PCR on arrival, and on day nine.

How tourists prove they’ve been vaccinated

Vaccine certificates will be essential for those wishing to enter the UAE on these updated rules. Tourists must get their documents registered on the ICA website five days prior to the departure date. We recommend doing this on the desktop site, as there is more reported functionality.

Step one, 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).

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).

Images: Getty