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Abu Dhabi opens for tourism, travel guidelines updated

Abu Dhabi will reopen to international travellers starting December 24, 2020, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced today, after Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for COVID-19 Pandemic reviewed and updated measures implemented in the emirate, including procedures related to the entry of international visitors. 

Abu Dhabi will continue to implement rigorous health and safety measures to contain the spread of the virus and ensure the welfare of residents and visitors. Travellers from across the globe will be able to fly into the capital after presenting a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result received within 96 hours prior to their scheduled departure. 

Upon arrival into Abu Dhabi, travellers will need to take a second PCR test. Travellers from countries on the ‘green’ list will no longer be required to self-isolate upon receiving a negative result. Travellers from other countries will be required to self-isolate for 10 days only. All travellers will need to take a PCR test on day six for those staying for six days or more, and on day 12 for those staying for 12 days or more.

More information on travel requirements and procedures, as well as the list of ‘green’ countries, which will be updated fortnightly, is available at https://visitabudhabi.ae/en/plan-your-trip/covid-safe-travel/permitted-countries.

Abu Dhabi applies a rigorous process and continuously evaluates guidelines to ensure the highest global standards of health and safety are maintained for its residents and visitors, making Abu Dhabi one of the safest cities in the world. Abu Dhabi’s diligent efforts, initiatives and regulations to contain the spread of Covid-19 while facilitating continued economic activity have been highly successful. Abu Dhabi measures has allowed the emirate to maintain an exceptionally low rate of 0.39 per cent of confirmed cases per total tests conducted in the emirate.

H.E. Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Welcoming the world to Abu Dhabi is at the heart of DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision and we are delighted that international tourists will soon be able to explore the diverse offerings of our beautiful emirate once again, knowing that Abu Dhabi is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. I am proud of the agility and innovation that DCT Abu Dhabi has shown this year as we have reimagined our approach to culture and tourism, to ensure we can welcome global travellers to our vibrant emirate while protecting the wellbeing of our community and tourists, which remains our top priority.”

H.E Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Abu Dhabi’s government and health authorities have put in place the highest possible safety standards, and its guidelines continue to be rigorous and effective, allowing us to welcome international travellers without compromising public health. We have seen a tremendous response from our industry in ensuring compliance, proven by DCT’s pioneering Go Safe certification, which provides reassurance and peace of mind to residents, domestic tourists and international visitors alike.”

The rigorous collaboration between DCT Abu Dhabi and various regulatory bodies, including the Department of Health, Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Airport amongst others, in addition to stakeholders and key partners such as the UAE national carrier Etihad Airways, has helped shape a secure framework for tourism operations in the emirate. 

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, commented, “As the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad has been a leader in the aviation industry’s response to the global pandemic. In order to restore confidence in air travel, Etihad has fully redesigned its service and introduced Etihad Wellness, our health and hygiene programme, and Wellness Ambassadors. Etihad is the only airline in the world to ensure 100 per cent PCR testing of all guests both before departure and again on arrival, which gives complete peace of mind for everyone on board. 

“Etihad has united with entities across Abu Dhabi to provide an unwavering commitment to safety and a unified approach to wellness. We are tremendously excited to see the re-opening of Abu Dhabi to tourism and look forward to reconnecting families and friends, and welcoming new visitors to our stunning, safe and vibrant home.”

Throughout 2020, DCT Abu Dhabi has launched a series of innovative initiatives aimed at reassuring consumers, building trust and driving the growth of the tourism sector. The pioneering Go Safe certification has seen health and safety inspectors confirm that hotels, cultural sites, entertainment venues, malls and other hospitality and tourism establishments are fully complying with rigorous safety standards, allowing visitors to return with confidence.

Other initiatives include the #StayCurious virtual campaign, which offers educational and entertainment content about the emirate of Abu Dhabi; the ‘Abu Dhabi Specialist’ programme, which is educating travel professionals about Abu Dhabi’s offerings, enabling them to promote tourism; and ‘Rediscover Abu Dhabi’, a campaign to promote domestic tourism and ‘staycations’.