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UAE mandates vaccination proof for live events

Fans hoping to attend live events in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from June 6.

The country, which has had one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the world, announced the mandatory policy yesterday (Tuesday).

The vaccine requirement applies to all sports, cultural, arts exhibition, activities and events.

In addition to needing vaccination proof, attendees will also be required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at least 48 hours before the event.

Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates and the most developed live events market in the region, reopened events to vaccinated fans on May 17 after nearly four months of tightened restrictions. Under the latest guidelines, for indoor events, attendance has been limited to 1,500 and 2,500 for outdoor events.

Following the initial reopening in Dubai, fans must use an electronic vaccination card or Al Hosn app showing they are vaccinated, with tourists required to carry their vaccination certificates from their home countries.

Guy Ngata, the departing chief executive of Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, told Pollstar that the venue, like all in ASM Global’s portfolio, has been operating under the VenueShield program, focused on hygiene and preventative measures.

He said he is “very encouraged by the vaccine program rollout in the UAE which has been world leading. This alongside the state of current restrictions provides confidence that the coming months ahead will witness greater opportunities for the live industry here in Dubai.”

The UAE has reportedly vaccinated 78.11 per cent of the eligible population over 16 years old, and 84.59 per cent of people aged 60 and over, without specifying if this meant two doses or one dose.

The UAE has become an increasingly popular live entertainment hub and international touring market for artists with its ever-growing portfolio of purpose-built venues. Live Nation Middle East had its biggest year in history in 2019, before the pandemic halted all activity.

Images: Coca-Cola Arena