UAE relaxes entry rules to boost domestic tourism

Published on : Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Domestic and inter-Emirate tourism is expected to rise now that Abu Dhabi has done away with pre-entry Covid-19 testing at border entry points, experts in the travel sector have said.


On Saturday, September 18, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee announced visitors are no longer required to show a Covid-19 test report at the border before entering the Emirate.


The updated entry procedures are limited only to those entering Abu Dhabi via road borders. The border testing protocols were put in place during the summer of 2020.


Authorities in Abu Dhabi also approved home quarantine without wristbands for international travellers and those in contact with positive cases, effective today (Sunday, September 19). However, positive patients must still wear a wristband. Experts in the travel sector have said all these decisions will encourage Dubai and the Northern Emirates residents and tourists to visit the capital city.


Raheesh Babu, the group chief operating officer of Musafir.com, said the agency had launched customised packages for attractions in Dubai and other emirates except for Abu Dhabi as tourists were hesitant to take multiple PCR and quarantine for a few days.


“We have had customised packages for UAE for our clients. Our packages mainly focused on Dubai attractions, and tourists were willing to visit Abu Dhabi but were a bit hesitant for PCR testing and quarantine,” said Babu.


“However, now that the doors of the capital have opened and residents and tourists can travel to the capital without pre-entry testing, I suspect the demand for travel into Abu Dhabi from other Emirates should be on the rise,” he added.
Despite the border testing requirements, demand for staycations in Abu Dhabi properties remained high throughout last year. “Residents were prepared to get tested and go over to Abu Dhabi for staycations,” Babu added. However, travel agents are now drawing up Expo2020- specific travel packages.

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