United Arab Emirates capital apparently offering covid vaccines to tourists. United Arab Emirates, Dubai – The UAE’s capital appears to have started offering free coronavirus vaccines to tourists traveling to the Emirates. This could help attract travelers and revive the struggling tourism industry.
Abu Dhabi has not made an official announcement on the matter, but a phone application from the health authorities showed updated standards for vaccine access on Tuesday, saying that visitors to the capital can now get a COVID-19 shot by presenting their passports.
According to the guidelines, passport holders must be eligible for an entry visa upon arrival without providing any additional information. Previously, vaccine recipients in the Emirates had to show proof of residency in the Emirates. The UAE’s government-run media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abu Dhabi lifts mandatory quarantine for travelers from the list of approved countries from 1 July.
The Federation of Seven Sheikh Domes boasts the world’s fastest immunization campaign with 14.6 million doses to a population of over 9 million. China relied heavily on China’s state-backed Sinopharm injections and started manufacturing Sinopharm earlier this year. Abu Dhabi and the nearby Dubai Emirates also offer Pfizer-BioNtech shots.
Starting in March, anyone over the age of 16 can be vaccinated. The UAE, with its small population and abundant supply of vaccines, has delivered vaccines free of charge to places in need, such as Egypt, Gaza, and the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles.
Abu Dhabi’s expanded vaccine access could be a huge boon to those frustrated by the slow pace of vaccination campaigns in their burgeoning homeland, as immunization inequality grows worldwide. However, medical tourism for vaccines has also raised ethical concerns about restricting access to those who have the means to travel far while others are vulnerable and exposed.
Throughout the year, Abu Dhabi has implemented strict COVID-19 prevention measures, including closing the border with Dubai. In reopenings, the capital this month announced a new “Green Pass” system that restricts access to public places to those who can show proof of immunization or a recent negative virus test.
Dubai, a regional financial hub that is home to long-distance transport company Emirates, has not announced plans to vaccinate tourists.