If you are a Dubai resident or have a residency visa issued from another Emirate, you will need ICA approval to fly into Abu Dhabi International Airport. Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Are you a UAE resident, with your visa issued from another Emirate, but planning to fly in to Abu Dhabi International Airport? You may be wondering if it is possible to do so, and which approval you might need - the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICA) or General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

A Gulf News reader travelling to Abu Dhabi Airport from Baku, Azerbaijan raised the query with us.

He said: “I am travelling to Abu Dhabi International Airport from Baku, Azerbaijan. Could you please explain the travel document requirements for Dubai visa holders arriving at Abu Dhabi International Airport?”

According to the Etihad Airways’ official website, if you are a UAE resident arriving at Abu Dhabi Airport, you must register with the ICA Smart Travel Service before you fly from the departing destination. Here are the guidelines for unvaccinated and vaccinated UAE residents flying in to Abu Dhabi, according to Etihad Airways.

Travel checklist for flying to Abu Dhabi Airport

Before you book your flight to Abu Dhabi, you need to make sure you fulfil the following requirements, according to Etihad Airways:

  1. Register via the ICA Smart Travel Service to obtain a QR code or SMS for travel. The QR code and SMS is essential for travelling to Abu Dhabi and must be presented to the relevant authorities.
  2. Take a COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test 48 hours before you fly to Abu Dhabi.
  3. Download the UAE Al Hosn app – you will need this when you arrive.
Alhosn App
Al Hosn is the UAE's official app for contact tracing and health status related to COVID-19. The app is also the national vaccine registry of the UAE. Image Credit: Supplied

Also read:

How do I register with ICA Smart Travel Services?

The ICA Travel Smart Service is an online application form that registers arrivals and attests their vaccination certificate. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers are required to fill out this form, to receive the approval from ICA. However, if you have been vaccinated outside the UAE, you will need to complete this registration process five days before your flight. Find out register vaccination certificate issued in another country on Al Hosn here.

The steps for registering with ICA Smart Travel Services:

For the application to be accepted, you should have been vaccinated with the following vaccines, which have been approved in the UAE:

  • Sinopharm
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Sputnik
  • Oxford-Astrazeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna

If you were vaccinated outside the UAE, your vaccination certificate should comply with the following requirements:

  • Personal data should be shown in the certificate.
  • The certificate should clearly contain the name of the vaccine and the date of the doses.
  • Ensure that the QR code on the vaccination certificate is valid.

After making sure you have received the approved COVID-19 vaccines in the UAE and have a valid vaccination certificate, visit the link:

Then start filling out information on the ICA Smart Travel Services online application form:

Applicant information:

  • Nationality
  • Full Name (English)
  • Full Name (Arabic) (Once you type your name in English, your full name in Arabic is automatically filled in.)
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Email address – The QR code will be sent to your email
  • Mobile Number

Passport Information:

  • Passport Type (Ordinary, diplomatic, etc.)
  • Passport No
  • Passport Issue Date
  • Passport Expiry Date

Arrival information:

  • Expected Arrival Date
  • Arrival Port
  • Departure Country

Address inside the UAE:

  • Emirate
  • Detailed Address

Vaccine information:

  • Vaccine Country
  • Vaccination Type
  • First Vaccination Dose Date
  • Second Vaccination Dose Date
  • Third Vaccination Dose Date – If you have received a booster

Attachments info:

  • Passport Image
  • Personal Image. The photo must be a minimum of 600x600 pixels and a maximum of 1200x1200 pixels in dimension, in a square aspect ratio. The resolution of the image should be a minimum of 96 dpi (dots per inch).
  • PCR Test Result (Optional)
  • Covid-19 Vaccination Card (Optional)

Final steps:

• After filling out the required information and uploading the documents, tick the box in the ‘Declaration’ category and click ‘Send’.

• The medical committee reviewing the application has the right to reject the application, or they can request for additional information.

• The time for completing and reviewing the application by the medical committee is a maximum of 48 hours.

Abu Dhabi Airport
All passengers arriving at the Abu Dhabi International Airport must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours. Image Credit: Supplied

What are the COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules in Abu Dhabi?

All passengers arriving at the Abu Dhabi International Airport must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their flight’s departure time. Children under 12 are exempt from COVID-19 testing.

If you are coming from a Green list country:

  • There will be a PCR test on arrival at Abu Dhabi airport, after baggage collection.
  • You will not be required to quarantine.
  • You will undergo a PCR test again on Day 6. If you are unvaccinated, you will have to undergo another test on Day 9.

If you are coming from any other destination, not included in the Green list:

  • There will be a PCR test on arrival in Abu Dhabi airport, after baggage collection.
  • You will not be required to quarantine if you are vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you will need to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
  • Two PCR tests will be conducted, one on Day 4 and another one on Day 8, for vaccinated individuals. For unvaccinated individuals, a test will be conducted on Day 9 (with the passengers required to complete a 10 day quarantine).

What is a Green list country?

Passengers arriving from Green List countries are not subject to mandatory quarantine. According to the Abu Dhabi Media Office, countries, regions, and territories included on the ‘Green List’ are regularly updated based on international developments.

The countries included on the ‘Green List’ refer to the country from which you are travelling as a passenger, not necessarily the country of which you are a citizen.

There are a total of over 70 countries in Abu Dhabi’s Green List. Countries such Azerbaijan, Canada, Bahrain and Denmark are included in the list. For the complete list of destinations and the COVID-19 rules for arrivals from Green List countries, read here.

Always speak to your airlines

Also, as COVID-19 rules are regularly updated, and as individual airlines may have additional requirements, always contact your airlines before you travel to find out their specific travel requirements.