Tourists visiting Abu Dhabi are 'not eligible for coronavirus vaccine'

Reports that the capital was promoting 'vaccine tourism' are inaccurate

Tourists visiting Abu Dhabi are not eligible to take a coronavirus vaccine during their stay, the government has said.

Officials issued a clarification following widespread and inaccurate reports.

An update to the emirate's vaccine booking app led to erroneous claims that visitors could 'fly in to get the vaccine'.

On Thursday, the authorities said only Abu Dhabi residency visa-holders were eligible for the vaccine.

In addition, people who are in the emirate on expired tourist or expired residency visas are eligible.

This would cover new residents, who often arrive on a 30-day tourist visa and may wait several weeks before they receive a residency visa, and residents out of work or in between jobs.

"Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has issued a reminder that free Covid-19 vaccines are available to everyone with an expired residency visa or expired entry visa, which does not include holders of valid tourist or visit visas," Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.

Visitors must bring proof of the above.

Vaccines made by Sinopharm and Pfizer-BioNTech are available in Abu Dhabi, along with Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The options to book a vaccine can be processed on the Abu Dhabi Heath Services (Seha) smartphone app.

The UAE has rolled out one of the world's fastest inoculation drives, with more than 87 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated.

The authorities have also started to offer booster shots.

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