Under new regulations introduced this week, Dubai residents now need to prove they have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination to be able to enter certain areas of bars and clubs and attend concerts and sporting events.
The authorities say Al Hosn app is the best way for residents to prove their vaccination status, although electronic copies of vaccine certificates will suffice.
Paper copies, however, will not be accepted.
Al Hosn app was originally designed to track and trace contact with Covid-19 cases, and is shown by motorists crossing into Abu Dhabi from Dubai, but its remit has broadened to support the country's nationwide vaccination drive.
So how do you download and use it? The National explains.
What is Al Hosn app?
The app is the official Covid-19 contact tracing and health testing record for health authorities in the UAE, and was created by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
What does Al Hosn do?
Al Hosn makes it easier for contact tracing on a national scale, so the authorities can quickly contain the spread of Covid-19.
When it is turned on for tracking, if you have come into close proximity with someone who has tested positive the authorities can warn you to self-isolate.
The app also acts as a record of all your Covid-19 test results, so if you come up positive you know to stay at home.
Evidence of your Covid-19 vaccination doses are also stored on the app, so you can use it to prove your status in the UAE.
If you travel abroad, you can use Al Hosn app as a vaccine travel certificate.
How do you download it?
You can download Al Hosn app from the App Store, Google Play Store, Huawei AppGallery and Galaxy Store free of charge.
Register your details, and the app will send you a validation code (OTP) to your phone number to authenticate your ID.
You will need to turn on Bluetooth and push notifications on your smartphone to use the app for tracing.
An internet connection is required when you first install Al Hosn app.
The app is whitelisted by the telecom operators, so data used will not be counted against your quota.
How does Al Hosn app work?
The app uses Bluetooth technology to record and send signals to anyone nearby who also has the app installed.
According to Al Hosn website, these Bluetooth signals perform a digital handshake and exchange anonymous data and timestamps between devices that come into close proximity with each other.
The anonymous data is stored in an encrypted form temporarily on the user’s phone and is deleted after three weeks.
No personally identifiable information is collected throughout the entire process.
If someone tested positive for Covid-19, the health authority will ask them for this list of anonymous IDs and timestamps from the past 21 days for contact tracing.
The health authority then analyses the data and notifies those who may be at risk.
Why do I need Al Hosn app?
Expatriate residents travelling back into the UAE from abroad are required to download the app.
Furthermore, since February 1, anyone wanting to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi has had to show Al Hosn app to prove they have recently tested negative for coronavirus.
As of the beginning of this week, if you want to go to a bar, club or an event like a concert or sports match in Dubai you need to be able to prove you have had the vaccine.
Al Hosn app is the easiest way to do this.
Who can use Al Hosn app?
Everyone in the UAE can use the Al Hosn app and authorities are encouraging everyone to download it.
I'm a tourist to the UAE. Should I download the app?
Yes. Vaccinated tourists can also use Al Hosn app to prove they have had the jabs in their home country.
You can do this by registering the "unified number" (UID) listed on your visa.
If you do not do this, you can still prove your vaccinated status by showing an electronic certificate on your smartphone.
You will need to do this to get into bars and nightclubs, and events such as concerts in Dubai.
Why has my Al Hosn app turned red?
The app contains a colour-coded system to easily indicate your health status.
If it turns red, it means your most recent test returned positive and you must seek the advice of the local health authority.
The colour amber indicates that you need to be tested or retested because of possible exposure to Covid-19.
Green indicates you have been tested and are Covid-19 negative.
Grey indicates you have no recent test results.
What does the E on my Al Hosn app mean?
The letter E shows you have had your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccination at least 28 days ago, and a negative PCR test within the past seven days.
This needs to be present on your app for you to cross the border from Dubai into Abu Dhabi repeatedly in the days after your last negative test.
If you want to keep your E status, you need to have a Covid-19 test every week.
I am vaccinated, but it is not showing up on my Al Hosn app. What should I do?
If you have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, but they do not appear on the app, you should go back to the clinic where the inoculations were administered.
Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, who leads vaccination and testing at Dubai's Covid-19 command and control centre, highlighted this issue in a radio interview.
"I would encourage anyone who has any difficulties or problems with their certificates to just reach out to the health authorities or the clinics where they received their vaccines, and we will immediately work on and rectify this issue," she said.
For further questions regarding Al Hosn app, contact the relevant authorities on 800 HOSN (4676).