DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have published new information about the capital’s entry requirements, saying that unlike residents and citizens, vaccinated tourists do not need to show proof of a booster shot to cross into Abu Dhabi.
The tourism-specific change comes as confusion swirls around entry rules for Abu Dhabi, which has taken a more stringent approach to containing the coronavirus than its freewheeling neighbor, Dubai.
The pandemic has prompted Abu Dhabi to erect a hard border with Dubai, forcing all drivers to come to a halt for vaccination and COVID checks on what once had been a wide, empty highway before the virus struck.
Ever-changing requirements have caused some headaches for commuters, with drivers from Dubai who had not received booster shots unexpectedly turned away from the capital last week. The emirate later clarified that all citizens and residents seeking entry must now show proof of a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated and maintain a “green status” on the government health app.
The updated Abu Dhabi tourism website now says that the new rule does not apply to international visitors, who may enter the city-state if they have received both doses. State media reported the update on Monday.
All visitors also must present a recent negative virus test to gain entry to the capital and to its public places, including malls and gyms. Residents must have taken the test within the last two weeks. Tourists must test negative before departure and on arrival.
Infections have surged in the UAE in recent weeks fueled by the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.