Dubai bars, clubs and live venues told to use Al Hosn app to admit vaccinated guests

An electronic certificate will also suffice – but venues should not ask for physical cards or print-outs

Powered by automated translation

Latest: All you need to know about Dubai's Covid-19 rules this weekend

Clubs and live venues in Dubai must ask for proof of Covid-19 vaccination using the Al Hosn app or an electronic certificate, a top official said.

Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi urged premises not to ask for physical cards or print-outs.

Venues and guests will have to quickly familiarise themselves with the requirements after Dubai relaxed rules for the hospitality sector this week.

"Everyone who got the vaccine received an electronic certificate on their devices," Dr Al Suwaidi, who leads vaccination and testing at Dubai's Covid-19 command and control centre, told Dubai Eye radio's Business Breakfast.

Everybody has an e-certificate that they could show. There are no physical papers – we don't encourage that

"That's linked to Al Hosn, that also can prove that you have your vaccine completed.

"Now we have an electronic system in place, everybody has an e-certificate that they could show," she said. "There are no physical papers – we don't encourage that."

The rules are the same for tourists visiting bars, clubs and live music and sports venues.

Vaccinated tourists can download the Al Hosn app and register using the "unified number" (UID) listed on their visa, or use an electronic certificate.

Under new rules introduced this week, only people who have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine can go to bars and nightclubs and attend other events.

This does not necessarily extend to licensed restaurants that serve alcohol – but patrons may find it affects where they can sit.

When a reporter from The National visited a hotel bar in Dubai on Wednesday, they were told they could sit at, or close, to the main bar if they had proof they were vaccinated.

If not, they could sit in the adjacent lounge, where tables were spaced apart in accordance with the two-metre rule.

Clubs and live venues that were shut in January by the authorities, can reopen as of May 17. Licensed restaurants have been open since 2020.

New rules for the hospitality sector were published on Monday by Dubai Tourism.

  • Hotels can now operate at 100 per cent capacity, while restaurants and cafes can host groups of 10 on tables two metres apart.
  • Brunches can go ahead again, while six people can sit together in a shisha cafe.
  • Weddings can now host up to 100 guests, while 30 people can attend private parties at home.
  • Large events can begin again, with numbers capped at 1,500 for an indoor venue and 2,500 for an outdoor sports or music event.
  • Entertainers are allowed to perform at hospitality venues, after being banned at the start of February.

These rules will remain for a month and could be extended if the pilot is successful, Dr Al Suwaidi said.

Nationwide, 73.8 per cent of the eligible population have received the vaccine, the federal government said on Tuesday.

"We are moving very smoothly and fast towards our goal, which is to maximise the vaccination percentage of our population," she said.

"Hopefully within the near future most – if not 100 per cent – of our population would have been vaccinated, and such restrictions may not be applied.

"If we follow the proper precautions, we can move on to our normal lives, very soon," Dr Al Suwaidi said.