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Abu Dhabi scraps PCR testing for tourists but BEWARE


We flew into Abu Dhabi on Sunday, 6 March. The day before, they had announced that pre-flight PCR tests were no longer required to travel to Abu Dhabi. By this time we had already had our PCR tests so were able to fly safe with our COVID negative knowledge.

 

On arrival early morning in Abu Dhabi, the airport was quiet and we whisked through passports and customs with no hint of a PCR test. (Two days prior we would have been tested for free on arrival). Lucky us… or so we thought.

 

On going to breakfast at our hotel we discovered that we needed to provide proof of COVID vaccination and recent negative PCR test to be allowed into the restaurant. They accepted our Australian documents and all was good.

 

On arrival at Yas Mall (the entrance to Ferrari World is situated inside the mall) we provided our vaccination certificates and Australian PCR test results and were told that only UAE PCR Test results were accepted. Given the number of people seen arguing with the security staff I would hazard a guess that we were among the first to encounter this issue. If we had arrived two days earlier we would have had the local arrival test results.

 

 

The Ferrari World website does not help. They list that you must have a negative PCR test within 14 days but do not specify that it must be from UAE.

 

We are only in Abu Dhabi for two days and Ferrari World is only open today so we rushed back to the hotel, they provided the address of the nearest PCR testing clinic and we headed off for our test. The express test (with a three hour turnaround) cost us approximately AU$200 EACH. We later discovered that you can still ask for a PCR test on arrival at the cost of AU$25 pp!

 

Travelling with a Roller Coaster Enthusiast meant that not going to Ferrari World was not an option.

 

Whilst we were having our PCR test, my husband (in Australia) had called to complain to Ferrari World because their website does not state that the PCR has to be from Abu Dhabi.

 

He got a call back from the Yas Island Concierge to apologise and they are giving him and my son free tickets to Ferrari World when they come through Abu Dhabi next month. 

 

And of course, the rules have changed again and the parks will now accept external PCR tests!

 

Anyway, we received our test results within 2.5 hours and managed 3.5 hours at Ferrari World. An excellent experience if you enjoy extreme coaster rides!

 

Despite the confusion, we had a great time. The weather was warm (25 deg) and dry. A refreshing change from the recent very wet, very humid weather of Sydney. The city is easy to get around by taxi (most were cash only). 

 

I would recommend a stopover here.

 

We stayed in the Crowne Plaza, Yas Island. A 4-star hotel located 20 min drive from the airport and 5 mins from the theme parks. The hotel was centrally located and very comfortable.

 

TRAVELTALK TIP

When travelling don’t just read the countries entry requirements but also educate yourself on entry requirements of the restaurants and other venues that you wish visit.

 

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Written by: Jenny Evans
Published: 9 March 2022

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