Let’s take a break from reading stories about travel bans and border closures – you can now travel to Abu Dhabi without the need to isolate yourself or delay your adventure for weeks-long quarantine.

If your Christmas wish was to finally travel and enjoy some sun, minus getting stuck in a hotel or hospital for mandatory isolation –Santa has heard you! Well actually, the announcement came even before you made that wish. But still, let’s call this a Christmas miracle.

On Christmas Eve, Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee announced the reopening of the capital and second-most populous city of the United Arab Emirates. Travelers from 16 countries, referred to as “green” countries, are eligible to enter the city without quarantine.

The “green” countries include Australia, Brunei, China, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Unsplash)

Upon arrival into Abu Dhabi International Airport, all passengers will have to undergo thermal screening and COVID-19 PCR testing. Once passengers from the above-mentioned countries receive negative test results, they will be allowed to enjoy the whole city right there and then.

Guests staying for more than six days must conduct another PCR test on the sixth day and then again on the twelfth day for longer stays. Tests start from AED 85 (approximately $23) in the UAE.

Guests traveling from other destinations not specified as “green” will be required to follow quarantine guidelines, which have been reduced to a period of 10 days.

Al Hudayriat Island. (Unsplash)

Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi’s government and health authorities have put in place the highest possible safety standards, and its guidelines continue to be rigorous and effective, allowing us to welcome international travellers without compromising public health.”

Abu Dhabi offers a diverse destination for all kinds of travelers with its desert-scapes, amazing beaches and warm, clear waters. Its ultra-modern features also offer thrilling attractions such as the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World, as well as cultural and religious highlights such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the tourist-favorite Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The city already issued approval to increase operational capacity of economic, tourism and entertainment activities, including shopping malls, entertainment centers and restaurants.

The relaxation of travel restrictions comes after the success of Abu Dhabi in implementing stringent precautionary measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

As of this writing, the whole UAE has a total of 203,000 coronavirus infections and 660 deaths.

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