Coronavirus Pandemic

Abu Dhabi entry requirements: How residents are coping

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on November 5, 2020

(AFP file photo)

Visiting loved ones outside emirate now done online

For Abu Dhabi residents, the process of ‘visiting’ loved ones in other emirates has gone online. Restrictions to enter the UAE Capital have been in place since June 2 to ensure mass Covid-19 testing and contain the spread of the virus.

And on Wednesday, the Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee for Covid-19 Pandemic announced new requirements for entering the emirate. Starting November 8, in addition to having a Covid-negative result to enter Abu Dhabi, residents and visitors must undergo PCR tests on day four and day eight of their stay.

Jethroefel Esposo Ramboyong, a Filipino telecom engineer staying in Abu Dhabi, said he has not physically met his friends and relatives staying in Dubai for months.

“My sisters and friends live in Dubai. We just decided not to see each other in person, but instead use technology or video calling. We visit/meet our relatives and friends online,” said the 47-year-old.

‘We don’t go out of emirate unless absolutely necessary’

Wael Kanaan, 45, a Palestinian resident, said Abu Dhabi residents don’t go out of the emirate unless it is “very necessary”. Saying that the entry requirements are a “bit of a hassle”, he added: “However, I’m confident that taking these actions will ensure the best safety measures for all residents.”

Another resident, Ninan Thomas Panicker, an Indian civil engineer, advised people to follow the government rules and travel restrictions “to save our lives and safeguard the interest of the UAE”.

Travelling to other emirates for work

Ronald Senyonjo, a marketing executive, said his job requires him to travel outside the Capital at least three times a week.

“I have found it difficult to cope up with the situation. Since the pandemic started, everything has become tough, especially with the routine Covid-19 tests,” said the Ugandan expat.

However, he said that he was happy about the UAE authorities “doing their best to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases”. “They are doing this to protect us and our families from the risk of infection. Let us do our part by being obedient.”

Indian businessman, Sujit John, said he appreciates the efforts taken by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19. “For those who need to travel daily, the entry requirements are an extra burden.”

What are the new requirements?

Residents entering Abu Dhabi must mandatorily take a PCR test on the fourth day. The day of arrival is counted as the first day. If they stay for more than eight days, they must take another PCR test on the eighth day.

The move has been taken to “enhance preventative measures for the early detection of Covid-19”, according to the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office.

Those failing to take the additional tests face fines. A PCR test in the country costs between Dh150 to Dh250, while the DPI one — which is valid for entering the Capital — costs Dh50.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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