The Latest Entry Requirements for Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi entry requirements

Travel has been the most sorely missed aspect of “normal life”. COVID-19 has proven an unprecedented disruption, especially with the rules and regulations in place for entering Abu Dhabi. International travel restrictions almost brought the tourism industry to a halt. Travel restrictions are still impacting the freedom to travel. Luckily, things are finally beginning to look up. If a sunny holiday getaway has been on your mind, Abu Dhabi may be a realistic destination. But before you start packing, you need updated information on things like travel safety, PCR test at home in Abu Dhabi, and vaccination. 

 Read on to discover more about Abu Dhabi’s updated entry rules. 

Abu Dhabi COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in 2022 

 Complicated new processes may seem annoying, at first. But not when you understand why they exist. Travel restrictions protect not just travelers, but their host countries as well. That’s not to mention the travel authorities and staff. There is no understating the risks of contracting and spreading Corona.  

At the same time, the travel and tourism industry is a significant one. Even after widespread layoffs and furloughs, it still supports 272 billion jobs globally! This has prompted Abu Dhabi to revise many travel requirements. The new requirements make travel to the emirate easier but without compromising on safety! Here’s everything you need to know:    

For Travelers With Valid Vaccinations 

 Were you among those people that got vaccinated promptly? If yes, that was a good decision! Abu Dhabi entry requirements no longer include quarantine and precautionary isolation restrictions. This is only for travelers who have valid proof of vaccination! They have a lower risk of contracting and transmitting the virus. 

 Here’s what you need to know if you are vaccinated: 

  • The authorities recognize a list of vaccines approved by both the WHO and UAE’s own MOHAP.  
  • The WHO endorses vaccines like AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer. This list also includes Sinopharm, COVAXIN, Nuvaoxid, Sinovac, and others.
  • UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) includes all of the above, as well as Sputnik, and Sputnik V.  

Validating Your Vaccination/Exemption Status  

The process to ensure the validity of vaccinations is very streamlined. Individuals need to register themselves along with proof of vaccination. If you intend to travel to Abu Dhabi soon, make sure you complete the validation process. Additionally, the process must take place 48 – 72  hours before your flight (depending on the country from where you are departing).

 Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps:  

  1. Visit or download the ICA UAE Smart application 
  2. Locate and fill out the form under “Register Arrivals Form”  
  3. Attach your most recent valid vaccination certificate 

Once you have done so, wait for an SMS confirmation message. This will contain a download link to the ALHOSN application. This is UAE’s official app that serves as a digital vaccine passport. It allows users to store and produce verified vaccination information. The green status on the app is essential for entry into public spaces.  

Alternatives to The Alhosn App 

 Does your home country have an app similar to the ALHOSN app? Great! That app can act as alternative proof of vaccination. People who don’t have the ALHOSN application will also need to provide the results of a recent PCR test. This test must show a negative result. To ensure cohesiveness and integrity, the authorities need you to take the PCR test in the UAE. 

Note: The test results cannot be older than 14 days.  

Supporting Negative PCR Test Result  

 Asymptomatic patients can carry the virus without exhibiting any obvious signs. So, before you travel, it is prudent to make sure you don’t have an infection. The most recent Abu Dhabi travel requirements ask for a negative PCR test result. Only then will you get clearance to board your flight. Of course, a lot can happen between a test result and a flight. Therefore, the test is only valid if taken between 48 to 72 hours before the flight. This helps to reduce the risk of an undetected infection.   

 Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll take another PCR test at the airport. You’ll need a negative result to be able to freely visit all public spaces. Luckily, the test results take only about 90 minutes. After taking the test, you can leave the airport. But wait for the result at your stated accommodation before launching into vacation mode. A green status on the ALHOSN app will tell you if your test was negative.   

Obtain UID from Immigration Authorities or ALHOSN App  

Once you land in Abu Dhabi, the first thing to do is to get your Unified ID number or UID. There are 2 ways to do this. Check with the immigration counter on arrival. You can also get the Unified ID number from the ICA UAE application/website. The Unified ID is mandatory to complete your registration on the ALHOSN app.  

Important Exemptions for Incoming Travelers 

Vaccinations are a great way to avoid contracting/spreading diseases. But everyone may not be able to get them. Young children with autoimmune disorders are one such example, and may not be ideal recipients of vaccinations. The PCR test is not mandatory for these people. Additionally, if you have children under 12 or an official exemption from your country, then they can be exempted from the PCR test as well.

Travelers from Countries on the “Green List” 

The UAE has a dynamic list of countries that it deems “Green”. This status indicates travelers from that country have a lower risk of bringing infection into the emirate. The list is, of course, fluid. After all, the pandemic sees new variants and spread-spikes frequently. The Green List’s most recent update was in January 2022.  

Be sure to check if your home country is on the list before you fly. If so, you will need to take one PCR test on the 6th day from your arrival date. 

What if your country did not make it to the Green List? What if it temporarily loses “Green” status? Simple! All you need is two more PCR tests. Specifically, on the 4th and 8th day from arrival.  

Incoming Arrivals from Other Emirates 

For people traveling to Abu Dhabi from Dubai or any other emirate, the same guidelines apply. You will go through the same procedures, registration, platforms, and applications. Just like any other traveler. If you are a resident or visitor already in the UAE, make sure your ALHOSN app has a green status. This will let you enter Abu Dhabi. Moreover, all borders now have EDE scanning devices. Anyone that appears high-risk on that scan will immediately receive a free-of-cost test. The test delivers accurate results in as little as 20 mins.  

If you are a UAE resident who tests positive on this antigen test, a 10-day isolation period is mandatory. Moreover, a wearable wristband will help authorities monitor travelers. This helps prevent safety violations during the isolation period. Non-residents who test positive will immediately return to the emirate they traveled from. They must also report to their local healthcare authorities.  

Getting a Green Status on ALHOSN App

The ALHOSN app is a convenient way to keep validated proof of vaccination on hand. The green status on the app allows individuals access to public places. Since the app is MOHAP-approved, the green status is equally acceptable across the emirate. If you’re planning on being out and about during your trip, the ALHOSN app is your vaccination passport. The green status depends on your vaccination status as well as the results of your PCR tests. The status turns grey once the validity of your last PCR test expires. And if you test positive for the virus, the status will turn red. Broadly, the status consists of 6 categories, including:

30-Day “Green” (Fully Vaccinated)

This applies to fully vaccinated people. That includes volunteers as well as people who got their second dose at least 28 days prior to a PCR test. The status will remain green for 30 days following the latest PCR test. Obviously, if your PCR test result is negative, you can’t get the “green” status on your app. You can tell if ALHOSN includes you in this category with the gold star and “E” icon. To keep your status green, you need a PCR test every 14 days (previously 30 days) with negative results. 14-Day “Green” (Fully Vaccinated) 

This status applies only to fully vaccinated individuals. The second dose must be less than 28 days prior to the latest PCR test. If the test results are negative, the app will display a green status for the next 14 days. 7-Day “Green” (Partially Vaccinated)

The 7-day status is strictly for people who have had their first dose of an approved injection. However, they still have time till the second dose is due. Provided their last PCR test shows a negative result, the app will show a green status for the next 7 days. 

7-Day “Green” (Vaccination Exemption)

If you possess a valid certificate of exemption from the vaccine, you don’t need to worry about the vaccination status. However, you will still need a negative PCR test to acquire the green status. The status will remain green for 7 days from the last test. 

3-Day “Green”(Partially Vaccinated)

The 3-Day green status is for partially vaccinated individuals. If you have had the first dose, but missed the second one by more than 48 days, the app will show a green status for 3 days. The app will only allow this status for 3 days from the date of the most recent PCR test. 

3-Day “Green” (No Vaccination, No Exemption) 

If you do not have a valid vaccination or exemption from the vaccine, the app will still let you acquire green status. However, you need to test negative on a PCR test first. And the green status will remain for a maximum of 3 days from the negative results. 

A green status is the only status that will allow you access to public spaces in the emirate. However, it is not enough to get a green status just once. It needs to remain green throughout your stay. To remain green on the app: 

  • Get vaccinated (full/partially) or obtain a valid exemption. 
  • Get a PCR test before the validity of your green status expires. 
  • Get regular tests to extend your green status for your category. 
  • Take all precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.

Information for Unvaccinated Individuals

Unvaccinated travelers can only board a flight to AUH with a negative PCR test result. The test must be performed between 48 to 72 hours before arrival. If you fly in from a country on the Green List, a quarantine period is unnecessary. However, you must get a PCR test on the 6th and 9th days of your stay. Unvaccinated travelers from countries not on the Green List must isolate themselves for the mandated quarantine period.  

Upon arriving at AUH, be sure to download the ALHOSN application. Remember to complete your registration on it before leaving the airport. Also, unvaccinated individuals will need to take a free test as soon as they arrive. Results become available in about 90 minutes. Non-Green List travelers may also need to wear a smart wristband during isolation. But only if they test positive upon arrival. The new requirements include a 10-day quarantine period. Following this, you need another PCR test on the 9th day of quarantine.  


Under the current climate, travelers need to be very responsible and careful. Especially about meeting COVID 19 restrictions. That includes tests conducted during isolation in the UAE. Luckily, testing services can let you take a PCR test at home in Abu Dhabi. So, you can streamline the testing for ease and convenience. For an extended stay, more tests become necessary. A negative PCR result every 14 days of your stay in the emirates is the current requirement. However, that should not impact your stay if you take precautions. Remember to travel safely and responsibly!  

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