Abu Dhabi air travel rules: mandatory ICA registration and use of Al Hosn app

Travellers vaccinated overseas must register online five days before flying to the UAE capital to get Al Hosn Green Pass

From August 27, travellers flying to Abu Dhabi must pre-register with authorities before boarding flights. Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports
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Passengers flying to Abu Dhabi must register with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) before boarding flights.

The new rules apply to all travellers flying into the capital beginning on Friday, August 27 when all incoming passengers must have pre-registered on the platform for approval to travel before flying.

From Friday, passengers must submit their details on the ICA platform ahead of checking in for flights. After registration, travellers will get a QR code, which will be required to board any flight to the UAE capital.

The new rules apply to all travellers flying into Abu Dhabi, except UAE citizens and those transiting directly to another country. There are separate rules in place for anyone flying from a destination on the UAE’s flight ban list.

Any passengers planning to fly to the UAE capital and continue on to Dubai or another emirate must also receive approval from the ICA to fly. Children and infants are not exempt, and must be registered by their parents ahead of travel.

Any passengers who have been vaccinated outside of the UAE should register and upload their documents for approval at least five days in advance of travel, advised Etihad Airways.

This will allow UAE authorities to recognise travellers' overseas vaccinations in order to approve them for Al Hosn Green Pass.

People who have been fully vaccinated in the UAE do not need to upload vaccine certificates to the platform, but all other ICA registration details must be completed.

Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, advises travellers set to fly to Abu Dhabi in the coming days to register with the ICA as soon as possible.

What do I need to do before flying to Abu Dhabi

To fly to Abu Dhabi, travellers must register via ICA, take a PCR test, download the Al Hosn App and follow quarantine rules in place upon arrival. Photo: Etihad/Fraport Greece
  1. Register online at the ICA Smart Travel Service before flying, at least five days before travel if you have been vaccinated overseas. This does not apply to UAE citizens or transit guests. After approval, travellers will receive a QR code, which is needed at check-in for any flight to Abu Dhabi.
  2. Take a Covid-19 PCR test. The time frame for when travellers must take this test differs depending on where people are flying from so check the latest regulations for your destination on Etihad’s website.
  3. Download the UAE Al Hosn app – this will be needed after you land in Abu Dhabi.
  4. Follow the rules in place for quarantine on arrival. Unless flying from a green list country or a travel corridor passengers must isolate on arrival. There are different quarantine times in place for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

Overseas vaccinations recognised for Al Hosn Green Pass

The new rule comes after Abu Dhabi implemented a new system for moving freely around the emirate. Vaccination is not mandatory for entry to the country, but it is now required for entering public places such as hotels, restaurants and malls .

Any passengers who have been vaccinated outside of the UAE should register and upload their documents for approval at least five days in advance of travel.
Etihad Airways

Travellers, including tourists, must download Al Hosn app and will receive the Green Pass so long as they have a valid vaccination and negative PCR test result. All travellers must take a PCR test on arrival in Abu Dhabi. This pass means that people can enter public places once they have completed any necessary quarantine.

Visitors who do not have a current Unified Identification number, which typically applies to tourists or new residents, will receive one once when they land in Abu Dhabi. This number should then be used to register on Al Hosn app.

24-hour PCR tests for Jordan, Kuwait and the Netherlands

Herengracht Canal, Amsterdam

In addition to mandatory pre-registration, travellers flying to Abu Dhabi from Jordan, Kuwait or the Netherlands also have new PCR testing rules to follow.

Passengers from these destinations, all of which were added to the Abu Dhabi green list last week, must ensure they take a pre-departure PCR test a maximum of 24 hours before flying.

All travellers flying to the capital must have a negative PCR test. Testing times vary depending on the destination, but are usually set within a 48 to 72-hour window.

All travellers flying to Abu Dhabi must quarantine on arrival, unless they are coming from a country on the green list or a place that is in a vaccine corridor with the UAE.

Currently, rules state that vaccinated travellers coming from countries not on the green list must isolate for seven days. Unvaccinated travellers need to quarantine for 10 days.

The Abu Dhabi green list is updated regularly. It currently lists 33 destinations from where people can fly without the need to quarantine when landing in the capital.

Updated: August 26, 2021, 11:59 AM