UAE-UK travel corridor: Britons keen to visit UAE for Christmas

Dhanusha Gokulan and David Light/Dubai
Filed on November 16, 2020

People travelling from the UAE to Britain won't need to undergo a 2-week quarantine

With the UAE being added to the UK’s travel corridor list, travel experts predict that it will see more people coming to the UAE than the other way round. They based their prediction on the UK’s increasing Covid-19 numbers.

Some Britons Khaleej Times spoke to said they were keen to travel to the UAE for the Christmas holidays.

People travelling from the UAE to Britain will no longer have to quarantine for two weeks after they were added to the travel corridor list last week.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, explained the first dimension to these air corridors rests solely on whether the UK will end the lockdown 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 lockdown-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.

'Fantastic time to visit UAE'

Louise Bentley, a lifestyle coordinator based in Oxfordshire, said Christmas would be a “fantastic time” to visit the UAE. “I would travel to Dubai for some sun anytime, but I did not want to isolate coming home. Now (that) there is a corridor, it is definitely worth consideration.”

Aiden Thomas, a design engineer based in Yorkshire, said Dubai would be an “excellent opportunity for a summer holiday all Britons missed out on”.

“The fact that it would be a summer holiday over the British winter makes it even more attractive, coupled with all the tourist attractions and activities that Dubai has to offer.”

Dubai resident Victoria Machin, a marketing executive, said she would “100 per cent” go home to the UK now that the air corridor is open with the UAE.

“I actually went back in August and did the quarantine just to be able to see my immediate family, although quite a laborious task, it was worth it. The latest update makes the chance of going back for the festive season so much more appealing.

“I also think it’s great that the UAE can encourage tourism in the country again, it’s a credit to how the pandemic has been handled on the ground here.”

Travel agents expect surge in bookings ‘soon’

Travel agents hailed the UAE-UK air corridor, 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 clearer in a day or two. Right now, we are not seeing a surge in bookings for the holiday season,” said TP Sudheesh, general manager of Deira Travels.

Raheesh Babu, general manager of Musafir Travels, 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. Once the lockdown ends in the UK, the number of travellers could pick up,” said Babu.

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