Residents of Abu Dhabi can now travel and return home freely, without having to wait for ICA approval to return.

Effective immediately, the Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) have launched the second phase of the UAE Resident Return Programme; which now removes the need for residents of Abu Dhabi to wait for approval to return to the capital while overseas.

The development is welcome news for Etihad Airways’ UAE residents at home or overseas, who can now travel with ease and return to Abu Dhabi freely without having to wait for approval to do so while abroad. 

Before booking their flight to or from Abu Dhabi, residents are encouraged to visit a new website at https://uaeentry.ica.gov.ae; here they cab submit their passport number, and Emirates ID number, to obtain instant verification of their UAE entry status, in accordance with their UAE residence visa validity.

COVID-19 PCR Test Required Onboard Etihad Flights

Travellers on all Etihad flights to, from and via Abu Dhabi will be required to have a mandatory PCR test.


Currently, all guests travelling on Etihad Airways flights to are required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a government approved testing facility; from 16th August this will also apply to all guests departing Abu Dhabi. Travellers must visit www.etihad.com/destinationguide for up-to-date information.

The PCR test must be carried out within 96 hours prior to their departure and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result certificate must be shown for approval to board. Timings will differ for those flying from China or the USA. Passengers departing Pakistan and India must use an Etihad approved medical facility. Children under the age of 12 and people with mild to severe disabilities are currently exempt from this PCR test requirement.

NOTE: All travellers arriving into Abu Dhabi, as their end destination, may be subject to further PCR screening at Abu Dhabi International Airport.