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UAE tourism sector bounces back

UAE tourism sector bounces back

The UAE’s tourism industry generated $3bn during the first six months of 2021, with the sector optimistic of better days ahead with the lifting of some of the pandemic restrictions.

Fully vaccinated tourists are now able to apply for visas to visit the emirates, as long as they have been fully inoculated by one of the World Health Organisation-approved vaccines – AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Bradley Jones, executive director at UK-UAE Business Council, said: “Over 78% of Britain’s adults have received both Covid-19 vaccine doses, which means the UAE is now open for most British tourists. With the Dubai Expo opening in a few weeks’ time, there has never been a better time to take a holiday in the UAE.

“I expect that many of these travellers will be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the UAE’s economy and the ease of doing business there, and they will be keen to learn more about new business opportunities.”

The UAE was moved to Britain’s ‘amber list’ on August 8.

British Business Group (BBG) chairman, John Martin St. Valery, said that British expats have faced “enormous uncertainty” due to Covid restrictions on travel, with the UAE on Britain’s travel ‘red list’ for a while.


‘Welcome news’

He said: “The easing of restrictions is welcome news and will boost travel in both directions. Dubai’s first-class offering as a holiday destination and many UK companies with interests in the region, we expect the skies will be very busy and tourists are more likely to stay for longer to ensure they make the most of their travel.”

The UAE is a popular tourism and business destination for the UK, with more than 5,000 British businesses and 120,000 British citizens living in the UAE, according to BBG data. Separately, 1.5 million Britons visited the country from the UK annually before the pandemic hit.

Joe Hepworth, CEO of Dubai-based advisory body the British Centres for Business, told the Arabian Business news website that the relaxing of the rules had returned the UAE to its former centre-stage position on the winter sun map for the UK.”

The UAE has recently introduced visas aimed at enticing individuals to use Dubai as a base for remote working. For example, the ‘Nomad’ visa allows freelance workers to base themselves in the emirate for 12 months while conducting business overseas.