Opinion and Editorial

UAE never ceases to surprise tourists

Filed on September 1, 2021

Visitor experience has been exceptional as the UAE prepares to receive more people for Dubai Expo 2020 from across the world.

Visitors and tourists are welcome back to the UAE after months of uncertainty following the pandemic that has changed the way we live and travel. The visitor experience will be different, but the UAE is doing its best to make this normal special for tourists. From boarding flights, to testing and receiving results, it’s swift and easy for those arriving in the UAE. Credit must go to health and airport authorities for making the process stress-free for passengers. Visitor experience has been exceptional as the UAE prepares to receive more people for Dubai Expo 2020 from across the world. With just 30 days to go for the world’s biggest trade fair, the country has rolled out the red carpet in style. The opening has been staggered – golden visa holders, business owners, healthcare professionals, residence visa holders, and finally visitors have been allowed into the country. The healthcare sector has been ramped up to deal with any emergency. Airlines are on board with safety procedures, and travel has been smooth.

Best practices have been followed as the vaccination drive in the country went into top gear. Currently, 80 per cent of the UAE population has been fully vaccinated. Those jabbed with WHO-approved vaccines are allowed entry. This speaks of rising confidence levels across sectors of the economy and the community who are learning to live with the virus. A return to a post-pandemic normal in the UAE could be sooner than the rest of the world provided Covid safety protocols are followed until the pandemic reaches an endemic stage. Business sentiment, meanwhile, is in positive territory, and Expo fever is building up. The recovery from the pandemic has been quick. Sustaining the recovery, however, will be a challenge, but the government is committed to striking a balance between the health of residents, visitors and the economy in general.

Daily infections have fallen below 1,000 and have remained so for more than a week. More people are recovering from the disease and fatalities are in single digits. Opening up the country for tourism was, therefore, on the cards as the UAE kept track of cases globally. There are fears of waves in different parts of the world. The US is a concern with more than 150,000 cases reported daily. Cases in Asia, meanwhile, are declining but some countries are delaying reopening as vaccination rates have not kept pace with the population. India, however, has shown how it can be done with record daily vaccinations that have topped 10 million. Cases in the country have fallen and Indian tourists are eager to return to the UAE. The UAE’s hospitality and aviation sectors are, therefore, expected to get a boost ahead of the world’s largest trade fair. Expo beckons, and the UAE never ceases to surprise the world.

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