#DubaiDestinations: Why Dubai is one of the safest places to visit amid Covid-19

UAE is the most vaccinated nation in the world, with over 91 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated


Sahim Salim

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 12:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 5:47 PM

As the world cautiously reopens from Covid-triggered border closures and lockdowns, Dubai has emerged as one of the safest and fastest-growing tourism destinations.

“Dubai was one of the first cities globally to close and (go into) lockdown, then became one of the first to open and stay open,” Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), told Khaleej Times in an interview.

“Our approach has been one of preparedness, agility and consistency. Together with our partners, we continue to take steps to instil confidence and trust in global travellers and reassure them of the city’s ability to receive guests safely and allow them to enjoy a well-rounded destination experience.”

Kazim was talking to Khaleej Times about the Emirate’s winter campaign called #DubaiDestinations that was launched recently.

“It is a collaborative public and private sector campaign, with the mission of highlighting the Emirate’s unique experiences and activities, ranging across multiple pillars, including culture, adventure, entertainment, food, art, sports and fitness. By engaging with local, regional and international visitors through guides and a wealth of creative content, the initiative is underlining Dubai's status as one of the world’s most distinctive destinations,” he said.

Reopening amid the pandemic

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

The official highlighted how the city has achieved a steady growth when it comes to tourism.

“Our proactive approach in successfully managing the pandemic… allowed us to reopen the city to domestic tourists in May 2020 and international tourists in July 2020. Since then, we have achieved steady growth and great momentum in the travel sector, with our latest data revealing that, between January and October 2021, Dubai welcomed around 4.88 million international visitors, with international visitation in Dubai in October alone reaching over one million.

“Hotel room inventory is now 6 per cent higher than 2019, showing how Dubai continues to lead the global tourism rebound and stimulate international business growth,” he said.

Dubai’s “resilience, foresight and agility” in managing the pandemic “eventually spearhead the global tourism recovery”.

“While the entire global tourism industry was significantly impacted, we moved swiftly to mitigate the impact of the outbreak here, while ensuring that our foremost priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.


“Dubai’s swift yet prudent response to the rapidly evolving situation saw us taking a fresh approach to drive domestic tourism to offset the impact on international visitor traffic, while we continuously launched marketing initiatives worldwide to keep Dubai top-of-mind among global travellers and highlight its position as one of the world’s safest destinations,” he added.

Keeping tourists safe

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

When asked about the Covid safety measures in place in the Emirate, especially amid new threats like Delta and Omicron, Kazim said, “Dubai has put in place the highest standards of hygiene and safety across all tourism touchpoints in the city, including the Expo 2020 Dubai venue, to ensure all visitors have a safe and memorable experience.”

According to Our World in Data, the UAE is the most vaccinated nation in the world, with over 91 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

“The UAE was also ranked number one globally in Bloomberg’s most recent Covid Resilience Rankings for being the best place to visit during the pandemic,” he said.


Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Photo: File
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Photo: File

Winter is one of the best times to visit the city, the DTCM CEO stressed.

#DubaiDestinations focusses on the “exciting outdoor recreational and adventure activities that visitors and residents can take advantage of and the plethora of alfresco experiences which allow them to renew their connection with nature”.

“The cool weather will bring the campaign alive and encourage everyone to use the #DubaiDestinations guides that include the city’s top-rated campsites, beaches, open-air events, festivals, parks, waterfronts and nature sanctuaries,” he said.

Hidden gems

Kazim also revealed his personal favourite things to do in Dubai during the winter.

“What excites me about Dubai is that it is continually evolving and, on top of the stunning beaches and awe-inspiring nature, there is always a new restaurant, fitness trend or immersive experience to try.

“One of the things I love about winter is being able to walk around the historic districts in Dubai such as Dubai Creek or the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood where you can discover traditional Emirati culture right in the heart of the city. Another favourite at the moment is Expo 2020 Dubai,” he said.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

“The hosting of this mega event is the start of an incredible new era for Dubai’s tourism industry and it represents the chance for the city to showcase the unparalleled generosity of the Arabian hospitality and diverse experiences that make Dubai so unique.”

He said Dubai has “created an environment where people can once again enjoy the magical, thrilling and unforgettable experiences that have made the city a global hotspot”.

“Therefore, #DubaiDestinations has a wide appeal to both local residents and international tourists as it highlights Dubai’s unique leisure, culture and entertainment offerings. With the combination of winter sun, safety measures and extraordinary experiences, we are confident that the #DubaiDestinations campaign will boost tourism numbers even more as we head into 2022.”

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