Dubai is open, safest city in the world: Top officials

Dubai - Senior officials of Dubai Tourism, Emirates, Dubai Airports and big global hotels reassure that travellers can fly with confidence.

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By Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 1 Mar 2021, 3:15 PM

Dubai remains open and maintains its position as one of the world’s safest destinations with a positive outlook for the tourism and hospitality sectors.


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The statements came following a meeting of top industry executives from the public and private sectors.

Thanks to its position as a safe destination for global travellers, the emirate looks to carry strong momentum created in the second half of 2020 into 2021, they said.

The high-profile meeting of major stakeholders included Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism; Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports; Mohammad Al Hashmi, VP for commercial products Dubai at Emirates airline; José Silva, CEO of Jumeirah Group; Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President for Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Hilton; Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International, Mark Willis CEO of Accor; and Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, deputy managing director of Al Rais.

The meeting highlighted the robust new safety measures deployed across sectors and new initiatives taken to further enhance the city’s position as a safe destination for global travellers.

The stakeholders were unanimous that there was positive sentiment surrounding Dubai as a key destination and reaffirmed their commitment to support the industry, including the strict implementation of health and safety protocols in collaboration with Dubai Tourism.

They observed that the pace of the global industry revival in 2021 will be highly dependent on the evolving Covid-19 situation, particularly noting the recent travel restrictions in several countries, as well as the speed of economic recovery in key source markets.

“While we are encouraged by the success of the strong safety procedures deployed across all tourism touchpoints, we will continue to proactively update safety protocols in the hospitality, tourism and travel sectors in accordance with the changing situation. We are deeply appreciative of the latest precautionary measures established by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, allowing us to further intensify efforts to ensure Dubai remains open and maintains its position as one of the world’s safest destinations,” said Almarri.

The UAE has one of the world’s most effective test and trace programmes and is currently ranked among the top five nations globally in terms of overall vaccine rollout.

Paul Griffiths said Dubai Airports and its stakeholders in the aviation industry have taken enormous steps to ensure that the highest standards of health and safety protocols are followed throughout the passenger journey to provide the reassurance that travellers can fly with confidence.

“We will continue to position Dubai in the lead of the recovery of global aviation with more than 146 cities in 80 countries already being served by 56 airlines, retaining our position as the world’s busiest international airport,” he said.

“Travellers can be assured that the comprehensive bio-safety measures implemented at Emirates, and across the Dubai tourism eco-system, are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest best practice and health guidance,” said Mohammad Al Hashmi of Emirates airline.

Jochem-Jan Sleiffer said Dubai Tourism has gone to great lengths to ensure measures are put in place to keep visitors safe as international travel has returned in recent months.

José Silva said Dubai has led a consistent campaign throughout the pandemic, prioritising health and safety and steering the nation towards an earlier-than-anticipated rebound.

“However, now is not the time for complacency. We must continue to ensure compliance with all precautionary measures, especially in the upcoming months, to sustain demand for Dubai’s diverse destination propositions across domestic and international markets,” added Silva.

Mark Willis said it’s super to see a positive booking trend in Q1 2021 versus Q3 and Q4 2020.

“As we look forward, Dubai continues to trend positively with demand in March looking increasingly solid. This is clearly driven by the sound safety measures put in place by the government and the desire to travel to one of the top leisure destinations in the world,” he added.

Philippe Zuber said performance has been strong right across the company’s portfolio.

“Dubai continues to be a popular destination of choice, not only with holidaymakers from all corners of the world but also with business travellers,” said Mohamed Jassim Al Rais.

Photo: Wam
Photo: Wam

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