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KT edit: Dubai welcomes the world with confidence

Filed on May 16, 2021

The UAE economy is opening slowly and steadily, thanks to the massive vaccination drive and the growing confidence the local and foreign businesses have in the country’s leadership.


The UAE is gearing up to welcome the world with open arms as the country inches towards the largest business event of the year – Expo 2020 Dubai. The UAE economy is opening slowly and steadily, thanks to the massive vaccination drive and the growing confidence the local and foreign businesses have in the country’s leadership, its economic policies and advanced healthcare system to cope up with the pandemic.

The opening of the region’s largest travel and hospitality event, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021, on Sunday marks a major milestone towards reopening of the overall economy, boosting confidence among foreign and local hospitality and tourism operators to promote the UAE as the next destination to go to during the Eid Al Adha and summer.

Taking place from May 16 to 19 at Dubai World Trade Centre, this year’s ATM has 1,300 exhibitors from 62 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the US. It’s the largest in-person event to be held in the region this year. “Dubai welcomes the world as global tourism begins to recover, representing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Similarly, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism also plans to remove quarantine restrictions on foreign travellers from July 1 and expand the green list of countries in the days ahead to boost tourism in the emirate.

According to regulations currently in place, vaccinated travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi from “green countries” must take a PCR test on arrival and on day 6, without the need to quarantine. Vaccinated travellers arriving from other countries must take a PCR test on arrival, quarantine for five days, and take another PCR test on day four. “Abu Dhabi will open for everyone without quarantine from July,” said Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of the tourism and marketing sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism, at ATM 2021. However, there will be some exemptions. Importantly, the UAE’s Covid mortality rate has dipped below 0.3 per cent — which is significantly below the global average of 2.1 per cent, as the aggressive vaccination drive pays off.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, on Sunday said Covid-19 vaccine passports are the only way to restart mass international travel, which will give a fillip to the aviation industry prior to Expo 2020. Hence, the UAE carriers are already leading the way to adopt digital vaccine passports as both Emirates and Etihad Airways are working on the project in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association to ensure a smooth and convenient travel experience for people coming into the UAE. “I don’t think there is an alternative,” says Griffiths. He says it is “inevitable”. Despite a drop in passenger traffic due to the pandemic, Dubai International handled 5.75 million passengers in the first quarter, a 67.8 per cent fall compared to the same period last year before the pandemic crippled global travel. Over two million of those passengers travelled in March, reflecting growth in air traffic as vaccine drive picks up pace.





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