Abu Dhabi Starts Welcoming Tourists From December 24, 2020 (May Need FOUR Tests + Quarantine)


Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE and home of the National airline of Etihad, will begin allowing tourism arrivals from December 24, 2020.

All passengers need to provide a negative PCR-RT test done a maximum of 96 hours before their scheduled departure and will be tested again upon arrival. Those arriving from the concise list of Green List countries can then roam without quarantine after receiving a negative test result.

You can access Etihad here.

Here are the requirements

1. Negative PCR-RT test before departure to Abu Dhabi (not more than 96 hours old)

2. Pay for PCR-RT test upon arrival in Abu Dhabi

3. Travelers from Green List countries don’t need to quarantine for 10 days if the result from the airport test is negative (others do)

4. Third PCR-RT test on day six if the visitor is still in Abu Dhabi (all visitors)

5. Fourth PCR-RT test on day twelve if the visitor still hasn’t left Abu Dhabi (all visitors)

6. You probably need additional PCR-RT tests and/or quarantine when leaving UAE and arriving back in your home country.or next destination.

Note that you must pay for all these Covid-19 PCR-RT tests.

Green List-countries as of December 22 (access the page here):

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • China
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

The list of “green” countries from which the passengers don’t need to quarantine for 10 days is very short.

Daily cases in UAE

The daily number of positive cases in the UAE has been relatively stable.

Infection rate

The UAE conducts a high number of tests (all those airport ones), and the positivity rate, which they brag about, is low, but the overall infection rate per 100K over 14 days is close to 200 (not exactly low).

Statement from the Abu Dhabi:

Abu Dhabi will reopen to international travellers starting 24 December 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.


When I first read the release from Etihad about Abu Dhabi again welcoming visitors, I thought great.

When you look at the concise list of “green” countries and the number of PCR-RT tests required for a two-week stay (FOUR), it is not so.

Who would want to visit from the “dirty” countries if they first need to quarantine for ten nights (plus three tests during that period?).

I actually like Abu Dhabi more than Dubai because it feels more “original” and less touristy than neighboring Dubai, which has been open for most tourist arrivals for several months already (you only need to quarantine while waiting for a negative result from airport test).