Abu Dhabi may lift its quarantine restrictions for international travellers from July 1, a government official said on Sunday.
The Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism Department (DCT) is all set to expand its green list of countries which consists of 22 countries including Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Iceland, Australia, China, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Japan and the United Kingdom. As per the current rule, travellers from the 'green countries' are not required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival while travellers from other countries are to quarantine for more than a week.
"We are announcing an extended green list - this green list will cover a majority of the markets that we are tapping into. Hopefully, by the first of July, everybody will be allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi," said Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing, DCT Abu Dhabi. However, the latest directive excludes travellers from India, according to local media.
Al Shaiba noted that the procedures for international arrivals to the emirate will be limited to PCR test results, adding that there will be different travel protocols for those coming from high-risk countries along with other procedures.
The National, a UAE-based daily newspaper, cited Mr Al Shaiba as saying, "People who will come from low-risk countries will [take] just one [test], either before or after they land in Abu Dhabi." He further added that procedures and requirements would be updated in accordance with changing circumstances regarding the pandemic.
"We're working with the government on a plan for that border to make it more tourist-friendly," said Al Shaiba, referring to Abu Dhabi-Dubai borders. It is expected to make travel easier between the two emirates and for a better tourist influx in the country with Dubai being a global eye-catcher destination.
Earlier, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee (NCEMA) called in for new entry rules for Abu Dhabi, which entitles all UAE citizens and ex-pats to present a negative PCR test effective within 48 hours before entry. If a traveller is to stay for more than 3 days, they are to take additional PCR tests on the fourth and eighth day of their stay.
Al Shaiba also stated that about 5,000 new hotels will be introduced in the Abu Dhabi hotel market over the next five years, pointing out that hotel occupancy rates in the emirate during the pandemic reached about 70 per cent.