New Dubai to Bogota flights with visa-free entry is strategic thinking

Bogota is a mix of 500 years of history and people, while Dubai is a rich collection of nearly 200 nationalities

By Michael Jabri-Pickett, Editor-in-Chief

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Published: Sat 8 Jun 2024, 8:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jun 2024, 3:16 PM

Strategic thinking is what turns a locally successful company into a global player. In the world of aviation, Emirates recognises that past successes are no guarantee of future growth. Too many domestic and international airlines that once dominated their markets no longer exist. Capital and strong leadership alone do not lead to profitability. What determines growth is strategy. Short- and long-term thinking from different angles examining key variables create the recipe for a once-local company to become a global brand.

Founded in 1985 with just two aircraft, Emirates – consistently voted one of the world’s best airlines – now flies the biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s while boasting more than 130 destinations.

On Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at gate A14 at El Dorado International Airport in the Colombian capital of Bogota, which sits some 2,500 metres above sea level surrounded by the Andes mountains, Emirati and Colombia officials spoke of the growth opportunities for both countries. The newly launched Dubai to Bogota daily service via Miami isn’t a simple move following a codeshare signed in May between Emirates and Avianca, Colombia’s flag carrier. This was a move to strategically connect Dubai with Bogota.

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But what is the benefit of connecting a city of three million in the Middle East with a nearly 500-year-old city of more than 11 million in South America 13,000 kilometres away?

Nabil Sultan, Emirates EVP Passenger Sales and Country Management, had the answer. “The new flights will become a conduit to enhance trade flows, improve market access, and open pathways for investment across a number of sectors between Colombia and the UAE.”

In April, the UAE and Colombia signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Wam, the UAE’s official news agency, said the agreement with Colombia will cut tariffs, remove trade barriers, and boost investments in the energy and tourism sectors.

President Sheikh Mohamed said the establishment of strategic partnerships is part of the UAE’s efforts to build connections with nations that share the UAE vision for the future.

On a more tangible level, what makes Dubai and Bogota work is that both cities see themselves as gastronomic destinations. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants just this week published its list for 2024 and Trèsind Studio in Dubai ranked number 13; while El Chato in Bogota came in at number 25. The day after the El Dorado International Airport press conference, tourism officials in a boardroom at the Grand Hyatt Bogota cited several awards as proof of the burgeoning culinary scene in Bogota.

But this service from Dubai to Bogota via Miami isn’t just about attracting foodies to give a South American destination a taste.

Non-oil trade between the two countries is at record levels and growing; cargo shipments are climbing (the new route will allow aircraft to carry 20 tonnes of cargo per day); and red tape is decreasing (Colombians and Emiratis can enjoy visa-free entry for up to 90 days in Dubai and Bogota).

Bogota is a mix of 500 years of history and people, while Dubai is a rich collection of Russian, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, British, and more than 180 other nationalities. These people have helped make the emirate a cosmopolitan city that boasts a thriving nightlife and a culinary smorgasbord while maintaining a traditional Middle Eastern core. In the age of digital consumption, both cities are also attractive to content creators and offer the ideal visual backdrops essential for social media posts to go viral.

Travel from the Middle East to Latin America really began in earnest about 150 years ago as the Ottoman Empire declined. In 2024, Colombians have become one of the fastest growing diaspora communities in the UAE. In fact, it is the largest amongst the Latin American communities.

Almost half a millennium of history in Bogota is now connected to the modernity of Dubai. This strategic move to connect these two cities means that Emirates is a modern-day, aviation linchpin.

What to know


Emirates daily flight EK213 departs Dubai at 0215hrs and arrives in Miami at 1005hrs. The flight then departs Miami at 1205hrs, arriving in Bogota at 1455hrs. Emirates return flight EK214 leaves Bogota at 1719hrs and arrives in Miami at 2215hrs. The flight then departs Miami at 0045hrs the next day arriving in Dubai at 2300hrs. All times are local.


Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft


Passengers on flights in both directions between Dubai and Bogota should meet entry regulations for the United States and hold the required documents, due to immigration procedures in Miami.


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