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

ARTICLE LAST UPDATED Jun 13, 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 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 public places within 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’ve had a recent PCR test, and you’re free to visit attractions, shops, restaurants, malls and events in Abu Dhabi at your leisure.

In the past, the Green Pass on the Alhosn app was only attainable for people that were fully vaccinated (including a third, booster shot), but as of March 24, 2022 — everybody can attain the Green Pass regardless of vaccination status. Although the extent of your Covid vaccine cover will dictate how long the Green Pass is active for. More on that below.

Grey is neutral, it means you haven’t had a negative PCR test within the required time frame to turn Green. To turn Green you simply need to go out and get that PCR result.

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 a medical check and isolation instructions.

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.

How long does the Green Pass last?

As of June 13, 2022, people that have been fully vaccinated (that is — have had both doses of the vaccine, and a booster shot six months after receiving your second dose) — a Green Pass status will be valid for 14 days from a negative PCR test. Previously the figure was 30 days, but the authorities have curtailed the validity window as a precautionary measure in the face of growing case numbers.

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.

People that have recently recovered from Covid — 11 days after receiving a positive test, you’ll receive a Green Pass valid for 30 days. After that a negative PCR test will be required, for a follow up Green Pass window of 30 days.

As of March 24, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals can get a 48 hour Green Pass with a negative PCR test.

Children under 16 are not required to take PCR tests.

What about tourists?

So if you’re a tourist heading to Abu Dhabi, it still makes sense to download the Alhosn App, especially if you’re vaccinated.

But following an update to the rules on March 17, unvaccinated individuals and people without the Alhosn Green Pass can now visit “events, tourist attractions and cultural sites in Abu Dhabi” with a negative PCR test obtained within 48 hours.

For more information on tourists’ use of the Alhosn app, see below.

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 Saturday, February 26 2022, you do not need to present an Alhosn Green Pass or negative PCR to enter Abu Dhabi.

The requirement to pass an EDE scan has also been removed from borders.

Although, as mentioned above, a Green Pass is still mandatory for entering public spaces in Abu Dhabi. This includes malls, restaurants, hotels, gyms, public parks and beaches.

Entering Abu Dhabi by Air

As of February 26, Abu Dhabi has scrapped its Green List system altogether, and with it the requirement for unvaccinated passengers arriving from non-Green List countries, to quarantine.

As of March 7, passengers arriving into Abu Dhabi, are will no longer need to take a PCR test on arrival either. It is now optional, available at a cost of Dhs40.

Fully vaccinated travellers

Those fully vaccinated (with a UAE approved vaccine) or in possession of a recovery certificate with a QR dated within 30 days, are not required to take a PCR test prior to arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Unvaccinated travellers

Anybody not fully vaccinated travelling to Abu Dhabi is required to show a negative PCR test obtained within 48 hours of departure, or a Covid-19 recovery certificate with a QR code dated within 30 days of departure.

Flying out of, or transiting through Abu Dhabi

The update also means there is no longer the need to get a negative PCR to board a flight out of Abu Dhabi, or if you are transiting through AUH. Though it is important to check the entry requirements of your destination, they may require PCRs to be conducted in advance.

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