Learn to live the 'new COVID-19 normal' to see true recovery: Dubai tourism chief

Further easing of restrictions will depend on stabilising infection rates, massive vaccination

  
Emirates and DHA Dubai begin implementing digital verification of COVID-19 medical records for UAE based travellers. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose

Emirates and DHA Dubai begin implementing digital verification of COVID-19 medical records for UAE based travellers. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose

Dubai is expected to see further easing of coronavirus restrictions amid “stabilising” infection rates and massive vaccination campaign, Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said on Sunday. 

At the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, the government official also said that the travel and tourism sectors will recover from the COVID-19 slump if everyone learns to live the new normal. 

“To see true recovery in travel and tourism, countries need to accept that COVID-19 exists and that we need to learn to live the new COVID-19 normal,” Al Marri said in his remarks.  

Dubai’s hospitality and tourism sectors were among those heavily impacted by low international visitor arrivals when the outbreak started last year.  

As restrictions eased, businesses in the sector have started to see a gradual recovery, with high visitor traffic leading to improved occupancy rates at hotels across the country towards the end of last year. 

Al Marri credited Dubai for showing “remarkable resilience” in managing the pandemic through “decisive” measures and efforts to open up the economy sector by sector. 

Easing of restrictions 

“With the number of COVID-19 cases stabilising due to high vaccination rates and some of the highest testing rates in the world, we can expect to see further easing of restrictions in Dubai in the near future,” Al Marri said. 

The UAE has recently imposed a ban on incoming flights originating from India, following a surge in coronavirus infections in the Asian state. 

Starting May 12, a ban on passengers coming from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also took effect until further notice. Earlier this year, flights to and from UK airports were also suspended indefinitely as the UAE was added to the British government’s “red list”. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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