The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced today that Abu Dhabi will reopen to international travellers starting 24 December 2020.

While the emirate will welcome the world once again, Abu Dhabi will continue to implement rigorous health and safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the welfare of residents and visitors. Travellers from across the globe will be allowed entry to the capital under a set of conditions, with visitors travelling from the ‘green’ list of countries allowed exemption from the quarantine requirement, after presenting a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test received within 96 hours prior to their scheduled departure, in addition to a second test conducted at Abu Dhabi airport upon arrival. Test results can be expected within 90 minutes. As for travellers entering from other destinations, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days only.  For further information on travel requirements and procedures, please visit [].

The Emirate applies a rigorous process and evaluates guidelines on a regular basis to ensure that it maintains the highest global standards of health and safety 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, maintaining an exceptionally low rate of 0.39% of confirmed cases per total tests conducted in the Emirate.

H.E. Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – 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.”

Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi, H.E Ali Al Shaiba, added: “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% 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 saw health and safety inspectors confirm that hotels, cultural sites, entertainment venues, malls and other hospitality and tourism establishments were 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 to educate travel professionals about Abu Dhabi’s offerings, enabling them to promote tourism; and Rediscover Abu Dhabi, a campaign to promote domestic tourism and ‘staycations’.


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