Covid-19: Life returning to normalcy in Dubai as new cases stay below 100

Aviation sector leads the way as DXB airport set to fully reopen in coming weeks

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Fri 5 Nov 2021, 12:02 PM

Led by the aviation sector, life has almost returned to its pre-pandemic level in Dubai as the new coronavirus cases are also staying well below 100 over the last few weeks.

The full reopening of Dubai International (DXB) airport, which is expected in the coming weeks, is a testament to the fact the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us and life returns to normalcy.


Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, announced this week that Dubai airports will return to full capacity following the reopening of its last closed concourse in two weeks as the aviation industry recovers from a turbulent spell brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, its top official says.

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Reflecting growth in passenger traffic and recovery of the aviation sector, DXB reclaimed its position as the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic in October, handling 2.72 million seats, according to global travel data provider OAG.

Dubai airports handled 10.6 million passengers in the first six months of 2021 and 13 million in the first seven months of 2021.

Anum Noor, a Sharjah resident of 10 years, is ecstatic at life returning to normal after nearly two challenging years, especially the resumption of flights as the UAE’s majority of the population consists of expatriates.

“Thank God, flights are operating now to nearly full capacity because we can visit our country for vacations. It’s been a real struggle the last two years, especially travelling to our home countries. Covid has really disrupted the life of the people,” she said.

Yet another important benchmark that life is becoming normal after the pandemic is the decline in the number of new coronavirus cases in the country. Thanks to robust vaccination campaigns, preventive measures taken by the public and private sectors and stringent laws to rein in the pandemic, the number of new coronavirus cases have been mostly staying below 100 per day from the third week of October.

Nearly 98 per cent of UAE residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while around 88 per cent are fully vaccinated.

As a result of these initiatives, the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking for October rated the UAE as the third safest country in the world for effectively and efficiently handling the pandemic.

“Just a few months back, people were divided in their opinion. Many were of the view that sweeping changes were needed in the society due to the impact of Coronavirus which would make life worse. Whereas others believed that life will be better in a tele-everything world. The UAE, Dubai in particular, proved that this new normal is better and also a reality now,” said Anish Mehta, a long-time Dubai resident.

“Covid-19 cases have fallen to two digits per day due to mass vaccination in a short period of time and excellent healthcare facilities. The immense success of Expo 2020, the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival, the opening of tourist destinations such as Global Village and many more reflect the positivity in the country’s major sectors. With airports becoming fully functional in a couple of weeks, the remaining sectors which have still not recovered yet will flourish, too,” said Mehta, immediate past chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Dubai.

Dubai resident Nasir Iqbal welcomed Dubai’s decision to reduce social distancing from two to one metre after a two-year mammoth challenge both for the government and for the public.

“Dubai emerged as a role model for managing the Covid-19 crisis. It showed an unprecedented resilience and excellent handling of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. People on the other hand, fully adhered to and supported the government guidelines and shared the responsibility. Consequently, life is returning to normal, people are enjoying the pleasant weather and celebrating the festive season. Businesses are not only in full swing but highly optimistic at the back of all these developments,” said Iqbal.

“We are confident of returning to 100 per cent normal life soon if every one of us in the UAE continues working hand in hand with the authorities guidelines.”

Mega sports events such as ICC T20 Cricket World, fitness event Dubai Ride and the government’s decision to reduce social distances from two to one metre are testament to the fact that life is returning to normalcy as the government is also confident of

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com



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