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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Etihad Airways Forced to Remind Would-Be Tourists that Abu Dhabi Remains Closed

From the world-famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the Middle East outpost of the Louvre and, of course, the many five star hotels, there are plenty of reasons why tourists would want to visit Abu Dhabi at the moment. And with Etihad Airways now flying to as many as 60 destinations worldwide in August and September it should be relatively easy to get to the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Which is probably why Etihad Airways has been forced to remind would-be tourists that Abu Dhabi does, in fact, remain closed as part of strict COVID-19 precautions. The confusion may lie in the fact that Dubai reopened to international visitors last month and has been warmly welcoming any foreign tourist who presents a negative Coronavirus certificate.

The famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
The famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

But unlike its neighbour, the semi-autonomous emirate of Abu Dhabi has kept its borders shut and access is still heavily restricted. Tourists have been banned since March and foreign residents were only recently allowed to return home.

Tourists may, however, transit through Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) so long as they have no plans to leave the airport.

Even UAE residents travelling to the capital from within the country are heavily restricted and must present a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed in the emirate. Abu Dhabi residents are now allowed to leave the emirate for up to 48-hours but if they’re gone for any longer they must also get a COVID-19 test before being allowed back in.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority hasn’t yet indicated when Abu Dhabi might once again reopen to foreign visitors, although Dubai is already pressing ahead with plans to welcome cruise ships in time for the winter season. For now though Abu Dhabi seems to be happy playing it safe and will no doubt be watching what’s happening in neighbouring Dubai very closely.

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