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Updated 16 August 2021

Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest airports in all of the Emirates, rivalled only by the Dubai airport. With flights opening up and new travel corridors being established, travel restrictions while transiting are relaxing.

Here is your full-scale guide to Abu Dhabi transit and the various rules and regulations you have to keep in mind.

Can I transit in Abu Dhabi now?

Yes, you can. Up until very recently, Abu Dhabi had imposed restrictions on travel from the following nations:

  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • India
  • Liberia
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

However, with the easing of restrictions and more travel corridors opening up, passengers from the nations mentioned above can also transit through Abu Dhabi. They’ll need to obtain approval from the last destination and provide COVID-19 negative test certificate submitted within 72 hours of arrival to Abu Dhabi.

Are there any required documents?

You will need to carry a negative COVID-19 test certificate for an RT-PCR test to be taken between 48 to 72 hours before landing in Abu Dhabi. This is mandatory regardless of your country of origin.

Do I need a transit visa?

You need a transit visa ONLY if you plan on leaving the airport during your layover time in the Emirates. The duration of a transit visa is either 48 or 96 hours. Please keep in mind that you cannot extend a 48-hour visa to 96-hours.

How do I get the Abu Dhabi transit visa?

Passengers passing through Abu Dhabi’s airports are eligible for free 48-hour transit visas. You must apply for the visa in advance through an airline located in Abu Dhabi. This is a one-time use visa that cannot be extended or renewed.

The visa is valid for 48 hours from the time of admission into Abu Dhabi, and you must depart within 48 hours after your arrival. Passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports are granted 96-hour transit permits for a cost of AED 50.

48-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

96-hour transit visa

  • a passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • a photo of self against a white background
  • an onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from

Do I need to get tested while transiting in Abu Dhabi?

No, you do not need to get any additional tests while transiting in Abu Dhabi.

However, you must already have an RT-PCR test report available (taken no later than 72 hours before your arrival) with a scannable QR code. SMS and digital copies are not accepted in Abu Dhabi.

This is applicable regardless of which country you fly out from.