Everything you need to know about travelling back to the UAE after summer

From how to turn your Al Hosn pass green to where you need to wear face masks, here's what returning residents need to know

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Roads are getting busier, temperatures are beginning to decline and UAE schools are gearing up to reopen next week after a long holiday.

Summer is almost over in the UAE and that means thousands of people are getting set to travel back to the Emirates after weeks spent overseas.

This year, with continuing Covid-19-related restrictions, there are a few measures to be aware of before you set off for the UAE.

From vaccination proofs to face mask rules, here’s what you need to know about travelling back to the country after summer.

Do I need to be vaccinated to fly to the UAE?

Travellers flying to the UAE need to be fully vaccinated, have proof of recovery or be able to show a negative Covid-19 test result. Photo: DXB

Travellers no longer need approval from the GDFRFA or ICA to fly to the UAE; this applies to both residents and tourists.

All travellers must be fully vaccinated and have proof of recovery or a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of flight departure times to fly to the UAE.

Vaccinations must be approved by the World Health Organisation or the UAE authorities. Travellers can download a copy of their vaccination certificate via the Al Hosn app.

If you're presenting proof of recovery for travel, the certificate must be dated within 30 days of departure and have a valid QR code. Children under 16 are exempt from these rules, as are UAE citizens returning from any destination.

Check if any special rules exist for your destination

The UAE’s green list for travel was removed in February this year, meaning travellers from all countries can fly to Abu Dhabi without quarantine.

However, some additional measures remain in place for those flying in from select countries.

Visitors or residents flying from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt, who are required to present a negative Covid‑19 test result for travel, must ensure the PCR is from one of the labs approved by UAE authorities, to be accepted on flights.

Check with your airline before you fly to make sure you are up to date with the latest rules for your destination.

Ensure you have a face mask for travel

Travellers must wear face masks when flying to the UAE. Photo: Etihad 

Face masks remain mandatory in closed spaces in the UAE, including on flights and public transport, so travellers flying to Dubai or Abu Dhabi must wear masks on flights and in airports.

Children under 6 are exempt from this rule.

How to turn your Al Hosn app green for Abu Dhabi

It is no longer mandatory to take a PCR test upon arrival in Abu Dhabi, but if you’re flying into the UAE capital, it makes sense to do so as a recent negative test result is needed to get green status on the Al Hosn app, which is required for accessing public places.

Students aged 12 years and over also need a negative PCR test result taken within 96 hours from the start of the first day of school to return to class.

Security guard checking the Al Hosn app in the mobile of the guest before his entry to the Icon bar at the Radisson Blu hotel in Dubai Internet City in Dubai on June 11,2021. Pawan Singh / The National. Story by Patrick

An on-site testing facility is available at Abu Dhabi International Airport, for both residents and tourists.

After clearing immigration and collecting luggage, turn right upon exiting the arrivals area and follow signs to the PCR testing facility.

Here, medical staff will provide tests at a cost of Dh40 per person. If you're a resident, you'll need your Emirates ID card while other travellers may be asked to show their passports.

Results are super fast, typically taking only a few hours to come back and turn your Al Hosn app green, meaning you can access public places in the capital.

If you don't manage to do this at the airport, you can head to PCR testing centres in Abu Dhabi, which give results within 24 hours or within two to three hours for a higher fee.

Can tourists use Al Hosn app?

The Al Hosn app is available to residents and tourists, and has recently been updated to make it easier for the latter group to access.

Non-residents can now download and register in advance on the app, using their passport number instead of having to wait for a UID number, which is not issued until a visa is processed.

This should make it easier for tourists to use the app to show their green pass in Abu Dhabi.

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Updated: August 23, 2022, 5:13 PM
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