A long queue of cars on the way to the Covid-19 testing facility in Ghantoot.


Long car queues, 2-week wait for appointment at Abu Dhabi Covid-19 rapid test centre in Ghantoot


DUBAI – Slow moving traffic was reported on a portion of the E11 highway as motorists waited in long queues for their turn at the rapid screening centre on Ghantoot, close to the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Commuters also reported a two-week wait to get an appointment at the facility, which has become the go-to screening centre for those wishing to travel into Abu Dhabi.

The test is considered the fastest and cheapest in the country for only Dh50, with results available within five minutes.

The Ghantoot centre is manned by more than 25 employees and has 12 queuing lanes with 260 waiting points.

The centre initially served customers on a first come, first served basis but was temporarily closed a few days after its launch earlier in July due to an influx of customers.

It reopened within 24 hours with a new online booking system in place. Customers now need to book an appointment via

When checked on Tuesday (July 28), the next available appointment date was for August 16. The centre carries out about 4,000 tests a day.

One of those who visited the facility on Monday (July 27) was Dubai resident Adrian Alvarez, who needed a Covid-19 test report for a business trip in the capital.

“I spent more than 30 minutes in the car, waiting for my turn, but thankfully the test only took less than 10 minutes,” Alvarez told

The test, developed by QuantLase Imaging Lab, uses a laser technique to scan a blood sample. A diffractive phase interferometry (DPI) produces results within five minutes.

Those with a negative test result will be allowed to enter Abu Dhabi while those who test positive will undergo further testing through a PCR test.

Travellers with a negative result of the usual Covid-19 test will continue to be allowed entry to Abu Dhabi within 48 hours from receiving the result.

On June 2, Abu Dhabi imposed movement restrictions to ensure that mass testing for coronavirus will be effective in curbing the spread of the virus.

A Covid-negative result taken within 48 hours is mandatory to enter Abu Dhabi, which must be shown to authorities at checkpoints. The results may be sent through the AlHosn app or as a text message from any hospital or screening centre in the UAE affiliated to the National Screening Programme.

Authorities, however, have encouraged the public to undergo tests in advance to avoid potential delays in their travel. ICA/Expat Media

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