Finally, the gates of Abu Dhabi have opened to American travelers without quarantine! Covid has made traveling to the UAE difficult for Americans up until this last week. We had to quarantine in different ways after the country decided to let us fly in again. But now we are free to move about more freely during a short visit.
I have children in the US and in Abu Dhabi because of educational opportunities. This means I have needed to go back and forth often. As I travel, I have had to adhere to constantly changing travel restrictions. I have endured Covid tests numbering sixteen or more (because I have lost track). These tests changed in how they were administered. This trip alone required four tests at various intervals.
My first Covid test I will never forget! After jamming the medical device that resembled a small Christmas tree up each nostril and then counting to ten very slowly, it was swirled around my nasal cavity. I had no idea my nasal cavity was so far up into my skull! Later, only one nostril was required and then the penetration of the device was also lessened. One time, my test was a swab administered to the back of my throat like a strep b test. This led me to believe that since all methods were still considered a PCR test, my first one was devised to discourage anyone from grabbing a quick test for convenience.
I flew from Texas, which is wide open from restrictions. Yet just this week, the UAE passed new restrictions to address the tourism coming their way. There is an app called Alhosn that is now widely used to show Covid status: vaccinated/tested and non-vaccinated/tested. It shows green behind your picture linked to your identification to be flashed at checkpoints or businesses throughout the UAE. Alhosn can be found at your favorite app store and also has buttons on the official website to select.
Life must get back to normal not only for tourism and business but for our sanity.