Fully operational DXB a nod to tourism sector

Dubai Airport, is now 100 per cent operational with all terminals, concourses, lounges and retail outlets now open


Michael Gomes

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Published: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 11:22 PM

The ‘end-of-the-year’ experience in Dubai is stuff of legends now. With a change in the weather and the many experiences that the country offers, the winter months are majorly sought-after by tourists from all over the world.

The World’s Coolest Winter campaign celebrates this ethos of the cooler months that compel most of us to step out and get a taste of newer experiences. The pandemic, though, did not make travel any easier or painless.

The fear of contracting the virus, coupled with the rules set in place in another country, made many of us sit back and rethink our travel plans — whether for leisure or work.

Twenty-four months into the pandemic, and many things have changed. It has only helped that Dubai Airport, that was opened in a phased manner, is now 100 per cent operational “with all terminals, concourses, lounges and retail outlets now open”.

With the opening of the final phase of Concourse A at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, nearly 1.6 million passengers are expected to arrive. The airport is already known to be one of the busiest in the world as it also serves as a transit hub for many passengers.

Explaining how Dubai International clawed back lost businesses, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said that the airport took early steps to implement best-in-class hygiene and health protocols to ensure the safety of travellers. “The rate of recovery of DXB has exceeded most other airports of comparable size and highlights the positive international reputation that Dubai has as an attractive city that has taken decisive steps to protect its visitors and residents,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time when the emirate is anticipating higher footfalls. From the globally lauded Expo 2020 Dubai (which has already had close to seven million visitors ever since it started in October) to savouring what is deemed as the “world’s coolest winter”, there are various experiences that have been drawing tourists from across the globe, and the airport being fully operational will only aid the tourism sector.

The announcement comes at a time when there is concern over rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, which is believed to be caused owing to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. It coincides with an important time for the tourism sector in the region, as this is when maximum number of footfalls are expected. However, the UAE’s mass inoculation campaign has helped in vaccinating a majority of its population with boosters available for those who need it. This is one of the singularly most important factors that points to the fact that the government has kept the public health at the centre of all its plans.

Vaccinations will provide our populations with adequate protection should they contract the virus. In addition, the pleas to follow Covid guidelines will help in reinforcing the fact that the basic masking and hand hygiene rules cannot be ignored. In doing so, the emirate has set a fantastic example of how to balance public good with economic opportunities, and not sacrifice one at the altar of the other.

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