New Abu Dhabi entry rules from Dec 19; border checks take about 2 seconds

Fast advanced EDE scanners create zero to minimal traffic build-up at key highways


Neeraj Murali

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KT Photo: Neeraj Murali
KT Photo: Neeraj Murali

Published: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 9:41 AM

Last updated: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 2:19 PM

The latest Abu Dhabi border entry rules for commuters have come into effect since early Sunday (December 19) morning.

Khaleej Times visited the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border checkpoint on Sheikh Zayed Road in early December 19.

Drivers and commuters were being scanned for symptoms of Covid-19 using advanced EDE scanners, a common sight in Abu Dhabi’s malls and other public places.

Police officers were redeployed at the border. Technicians, posted at the checkpoint counters, were using the scanners on all commuters and drivers.

The entire checking process took approximately two seconds per person, creating a zero to minimum traffic build-up.

The highway connecting both Emirates witnessed the usual early morning rush.

Several daily commuters and drivers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi called the system efficient and necessary for public health.


In view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee updated the procedures to enter the capital last week in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic.

No personal data of drivers or RT-PCR tests results are being taken. However, potential positive Covid-19 cases will be referred to an on-site testing centre, with a free antigen test provided and results within 20 minutes.


Launched in 2020, the border checkpoint system requiring commuters from Dubai to show a negative test report was scrapped in September.

The green pass system using the government's Al Hosn test-and-trace app continues to be in use in Abu Dhabi. People entering public places such as malls and public buildings must show they are fully vaccinated and have had a recent negative PCR test.

Combating, covid19, coronavirus, Al Hosn app, increases, confidence, return to workplaces
Combating, covid19, coronavirus, Al Hosn app, increases, confidence, return to workplaces

The UAE, on Sunday, reported 285 new Covid-19 cases. Moreover, the UAE has the highest vaccination rate in the world and no new Covid-19 deaths have been reported for nine days.

Preet Saini, a regular commuter from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi said, “I used the E311 highway early Sunday morning and the entire process was completed in under a minute. There was mild traffic at the checkpoint the testing was taking place, however, everything was done efficiently.” Saini said, “This is important for public health.”

Khalid Mounir, another commuter said, “The testing procedure has been in place for several months now. It’s not a new process. It was re-introduced for the safety of the people. The entire process is quick and does not cost me anything to undergo an EDE scanner test.”

How do EDE scanners work?

The Covid-19 scanners were first used in June to detect possible cases at shopping malls, some residential areas, and all land and air entry points in Abu Dhabi.

An operator holds up the mobile scanning device in front of those wishing to enter Abu Dhabi for several seconds. It measures alterations in electromagnetic waves.

A machine learning algorithm compares the information against the unique Covid-19 RNA molecule to detect possible positive cases.

(With inputs from Dhanusha Gokulan)

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