Arriving in AUH and going up to Dubai

Old Mar 4, 21, 10:26 pm
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Arriving in AUH and going up to Dubai

Does anyone have experience of arriving into AUH recently and going up to Dubai instead of getting a wrist tracker and quarantining in Abu Dhabi? Just trying to understand the precise procedures around it, i.e. where do they split the group and what do they check.

If I was tourist then I would happily fly into AUH without thinking twice, but I'll be entering on a new AD employment visa and I wanted to make sure there aren't any nasty surprises like "you must enter Abu Dhabi for quarantine if you're not a tourist/resident of a different emirate".

Thanks!
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Old Mar 6, 21, 12:02 pm
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My understanding is that quarantine is not optional / nuanced. Even for people based in Dubai, getting to Abu Dhabi isnít straightforward. They are for all intents and purposes two separate countries without visa restrictions for now....
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Old Mar 6, 21, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by IntrepidAfrican View Post
My understanding is that quarantine is not optional / nuanced. Even for people based in Dubai, getting to Abu Dhabi isnít straightforward. They are for all intents and purposes two separate countries without visa restrictions for now....
That's for getting into Abu Dhabi, and I agree that it's very strict whether you're coming from abroad or from Dubai.

However, Etihad has been advertising the fact that if you're arriving into AUH but intend on going directly up to Dubai or the other emirates, you can do so without doing the Abu Dhabi quarantine. The Etihad website states the following:
Iím travelling to Dubai as soon as my flight lands in Abu Dhabi, do I need to quarantine?

No, you will not be required to quarantine if youíre travelling straight to Dubai. You are permitted to travel to Dubai or any northern emirate by Etihad Chauffeur, Etihad Coach or Airport Taxi only.
I was just trying to get a better understanding of the process, so that I don't inadvertently end up being sent to Abu Dhabi quarantine, particularly as I'm not a tourist but arriving on an employment visa.
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Old Mar 6, 21, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
That's for getting into Abu Dhabi, and I agree that it's very strict whether you're coming from abroad or from Dubai.

However, Etihad has been advertising the fact that if you're arriving into AUH but intend on going directly up to Dubai or the other emirates, you can do so without doing the Abu Dhabi quarantine. The Etihad website states the following:I was just trying to get a better understanding of the process, so that I don't inadvertently end up being sent to Abu Dhabi quarantine, particularly as I'm not a tourist but arriving on an employment visa.
yes, I understood all that. Maybe youíre not aware, but even in the normal days Abu Dhabi were iffy about people working in AD but living in Dubai. So I donít think you have the option if youíre on a AD residence permit during a pandemic, and I do think youíre in for a ďsurpriseĒ.

But try your luck and let us know lol
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Old Mar 7, 21, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by IntrepidAfrican View Post
But try your luck and let us know lol
Right... Anyway, I'll just wait for someone with some actual useful info to come along.

Last edited by stargold; Mar 7, 21 at 4:27 am
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Old Mar 7, 21, 5:38 am
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Hi stargold,

I haven't done this personally, but a friend with an Abu Dhabi residence visa managed to fly into AUH and take a taxi to Dubai, avoiding quarantine. Though I don't have specific details as to when they split you off at the airport, I believe it will be after immigration, bag claim and customs as that's where the tracker wristbands are fitted. Of course, you'll still end up needing 3 negative PCR tests (at various intervals) to enter/stay in the emirate of Abu Dhabi after the quarantine period has ended.

Don't know if FT allows this type of suggestion, but there's an incredibly useful group on Facebook that would certainly answer all your queries: Expats Leaving and/or Returning to the UAE (Help Group)
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Old Mar 7, 21, 6:18 am
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Thanks very much, gemnbowcup - really useful data point. I am aware of the FB group but I'm currently not using FB so it's hard to look up the group for info unfortunately, therefore much appreciated.

I'm currently holding a booking on EK (which I'm generally happy to stick to), but wanted to consider switching to EY to save on the EK miles which I may need later on, hence needing some clarity on how this works.
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Old Mar 7, 21, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
That's for getting into Abu Dhabi, and I agree that it's very strict whether you're coming from abroad or from Dubai.

However, Etihad has been advertising the fact that if you're arriving into AUH but intend on going directly up to Dubai or the other emirates, you can do so without doing the Abu Dhabi quarantine. The Etihad website states the following:I was just trying to get a better understanding of the process, so that I don't inadvertently end up being sent to Abu Dhabi quarantine, particularly as I'm not a tourist but arriving on an employment visa.

We are considering an arrival at AUH for travel immediately to Dubai. No problem with the rules to take an airport taxi or bus.

Calling EY, they said the PCR test on arrival is mandatory and then we can leave for Dubai. He said we are supposed to quarantine in Dubai until the results of the test are back. Does anyone know if this is accurate or have thoughts on this? We don't want to spend a full day in Dubai waiting on test results that could be avoided if we arrive directly into DXB. thx.
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Old Mar 11, 21, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by allergictocoach View Post
We are considering an arrival at AUH for travel immediately to Dubai. No problem with the rules to take an airport taxi or bus.

Calling EY, they said the PCR test on arrival is mandatory and then we can leave for Dubai. He said we are supposed to quarantine in Dubai until the results of the test are back. Does anyone know if this is accurate or have thoughts on this? We don't want to spend a full day in Dubai waiting on test results that could be avoided if we arrive directly into DXB. thx.
when you check into your hotel you'll have to sign a document, which the hotel will keep, stating you promise to stay in your room until results are in.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 6:25 am
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I did this a few weeks ago, although on a visa waiver. There was someone from Etihad to guide Dubai-bound passengers through the process (which took close to an hour with the test). There was no follow up once in Dubai.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by allergictocoach View Post
Calling EY, they said the PCR test on arrival is mandatory and then we can leave for Dubai. He said we are supposed to quarantine in Dubai until the results of the test are back. Does anyone know if this is accurate or have thoughts on this? We don't want to spend a full day in Dubai waiting on test results that could be avoided if we arrive directly into DXB. thx.
As soon as you leave Abu Dhabi, then Abu Dhabi quarantine rules no longer apply. That said, even if you landed in Dubai, if you are tested on arrival, then you're supposed to stay in your room until you get your results. This may not be such an issue if the news article I read yesterday was correct that AUH was now doing 90-minute PCR tests for arrival.

Originally Posted by valdor View Post
I did this a few weeks ago, although on a visa waiver. There was someone from Etihad to guide Dubai-bound passengers through the process (which took close to an hour with the test). There was no follow up once in Dubai.
Thanks. Where were you separated into Abu Dhabi-bound and Dubai-bound groups? Was it after Customs as indicated in the data point above? Also, did anyone look at any documentation before letting you join the Dubai group? Cheers
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Old Mar 14, 21, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
Thanks. Where were you separated into Abu Dhabi-bound and Dubai-bound groups? Was it after Customs as indicated in the data point above? Also, did anyone look at any documentation before letting you join the Dubai group? Cheers
After immigration / customs, right before going into the testing tent. My passport details were captured as part of the testing process, as well as the address of my hotel and my phone number but I didnít see them look at my passport visa pages.
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Old Mar 14, 21, 8:57 am
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Good luck Stargold with the new Job and do let us know of your experience so we all know what to expect, thanks
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Old Mar 27, 21, 11:36 pm
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To report back on the experience this AM:

* Arrived at 0440 and cleared immigration and customs as normal. (By the way, was stunned to arrive at a bus gate, despite presumably plenty of contact gates to go around)
* When you come out into (what used to be) the arrivals area, I had thought that those going up to Dubai may be allowed to go straight to the airport taxi, but instead everyone is sent to the direction of the Sky Park car parking, and then turn left at the end of the downward sloping corridor.
* You walk past some exhibits of artwork and eventually end up in a large temporary hall where the security guard guides you to either turn left or walk straight. Left is for Dubai (and perhaps for green country arrival who do not require quarantine), and straight on is for all other arrivals which require the quarantine bracelet.
* At the desk, they did a PCR swab (which I received the result by the time I reached Dubai), and also took details of my arrival and where I will be staying in Dubai.
* Once you are done, everyone is then funnelled back together out of the hall and into the arrival kerb for onward transport. It was 0540 by the time I was done with everything.
* Not sure whether it was just a one off, but the rule regarding only being able to take airport taxi or Etihad bus/chauffeur was not enforced. I could have easily been picked up by a friend/family, and could even have just gone home in Abu Dhabi. Anyway, I took the airport taxi to the JWM in Business Bay where I was able to check in at 7am.

All in all, pleased to report that it all went pretty smoothly. Thank you again for the posters who provided feedback.
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Old Mar 28, 21, 2:42 am
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Thanks Stargold that's useful first hand info
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