Dubai is the place and the brand and those betting against Dubai will lose, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Airline and Group.

Sheikh Ahmed said that two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, “things are looking much better.”

“It took us two years because we had to start with the vaccination of the population. Talking about the company (Emirates Group), we have more than 90 per cent of the staff vaccinated. We have to take care of ourselves, the people around us, our families and also follow the rules,” the Emirates chairman said in an interview with CNN’s Richest Quest on the sidelines of Expo 2020.

In late November, the UAE reached a landmark in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as 100 per cent of its eligible population had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

In reply to a query that a lot of people have lost out in the past betting against Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed said “they will continue to lose against Dubai. Dubai is the place, Dubai is the brand.”

He stated that not many people left Dubai during the Covid-19 pandemic because “we kept the country open with rules and regulations. And help is coming from people also who live here and follow the rules. When we come up with any rules, it means good for ourselves and for them for protecting (against the pandemic).”

In reply to a query about merging Emirates with Etihad Airways, Sheikh Ahmed said: “If you are talking about the UAE and you want to merge two, how many airlines around the world exist in one country? Competition is healthy, it’s good. We are not standing in one place. The population is growing, the business is growing.”

He said that the Emirates airline remained successful during the pandemic, carrying vaccines, cargo, perishable goods and people around the world.

“We have a strong and resilient airline. We are still going to prove to the world that we can do it. We did it before and we will do it after the pandemic.”

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