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UAE starts issuing tourist visas to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that it has started issuing tourist visas to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries.

The Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), in a joint statement, said:

Starting from August 30, application for tourist visas will be open to people from all countries, provided that they are fully vaccinated with one of the WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines.

As of 3rd June 2021, the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines include AstraZeneca/Oxford/CoviShield, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

For travellers from India, only those who are vaccinated with COVISHIELD will be allowed to travel to the UAE on tourist visa as WHO is yet to approve COVAXIN.

The decision also includes those arriving from the previously banned countries. Those arriving on tourists visa will be required to take a mandatory rapid RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport. The previous rules for unvaccinated, including exempted categories, remain in place.

The relaxation is a part of the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable recovery and economic growth.

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NCEME UAE tweeted:

The passengers also need to register their vaccination status on the government’s health app. Travellers wishing to receive the benefits provided to those vaccinated in the UAE can register their vaccination via the ICA platform or Al Hosn application.

The move comes amid a drop in coronavirus infections in the Middle Eastern country, after it reported less than 1,000 cases per day last week for the first time in months.

Since scrapping arrivals from countries including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria, the UAE has been gradually easing rules on travel. The country started to allow residents to return earlier this month.

Despite an entry ban, India continued to be the Dubai International Airport’s top destination country by traffic volume in the first half of 2021 with passenger numbers exceeding 1.9 million, according to Gulf News.

What do you think of UAE reopening to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries? Do you think it is too early to make such a decision? Let me know in the comments section below.

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