But after that notice was shared online and widely reported by international media, the Abu Dhabi media office issued a statement clarifying the city was offering free COVID-19 vaccines only to those with valid or expired residency visas, “which does not include include holders of valid tourist or visitors visas.”
The health provider's phone app also changed its vaccine appointment booking page, requiring users to input their residency card before proceeding.
The federation of seven sheikhdoms boasts one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the world, with 14.7 million individual doses already administered to its population of over 9 million, which includes some 1 million Emiratis. The remaining 8 million are foreigners living and working in the UAE. Vaccines such as Pfizer's and Sinopharm require two shots.
Dubai, the regional financial hub home to long-haul carrier Emirates, has not announced any plans to vaccinate tourists.