Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: No self-isolation for British expats travelling from UAE to UK

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on November 15, 2020
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Travel experts are expecting a greater score of people coming to the UAE for a sunnier break.

British expats in the country can now plan their trips home without undergoing self-isolation, thanks to the new air corridor deal between the UAE and UK.

“Bahrain, Chile, Iceland, Cambodia, Laos, UAE, Qatar and Turks and Caicos Islands have been added to the Travel Corridor list. If you arrive from these countries after 4am on Saturday, you will not need to self-isolate,” tweeted UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps on Thursday.

With Covid cases rising in the UK and the new air corridor, travel experts are expecting a greater score of people coming to the UAE for a sunnier break than vice versa.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, explained the first dimension to these air corridors rests solely on whether the UK will end the lock down on December 2. “Speculation is rife that it may be extended. At this point, we have no way of knowing what the UK Government will do by that date,” said Ahmad.

“The newly announced air corridor not only opens up the prospect of a post-lockdown winter sun getaway for would-be travellers from the lock down-weary UK, it also allows airlines like British Airways, Emirates and Etihad to bolster services over the festive season to tap into the demand,” he added.

Boom expected once UK lockdown is lifted

“Once the national lockdown is lifted, there is going to be a huge boon for both the UAE which relies on large swathes of tourists, and this will provide an economic and financial boost to coffers for airlines that have been financially battered during this year,” said Ahmad.

“Given the financial pressures of Covid-19 driving up unemployment around the world, holidaymakers are more likely to make use of this new air corridor and lap up competitive fares and hotel rates,” he said.

Ahmad does not see the possibility of business travel returning to normalcy. “Business travellers will be few and far between as the current emphasis of working from home and using technologies for live conferencing dispenses the need for overseas travel,” he said.

Travel agents expect surge in bookings soon

Travel agents hailed the UAE-UK air corridor as a boom in the market though they are yet to witness a surge in bookings.

“There is definitely an increase in confidence in the market following this decision, however, that is yet to materialise into a substantial increase in travel bookings. I think things are expected to become clear in a day or two. As of right now, we are not seeing a surge in bookings for the holiday season,” TP Sudheesh, general manager of Deira Travels.

Raheesh Babu, general manager of Musafir Travels, also said they are expecting more travellers to come to Dubai from the UK. “At present, there is no surge in bookings. The most popular destinations from the UAE remain India, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Maybe, once the lockdown ends in the UK, the number of holidays travellers may pick up,” said Babu.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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