Around 1.5 million British nationals visit the United Arab Emirates every year with a substantial proportion of visitors headed to one of the glitzy hotels in Dubai. The destination has been closed to all international visitors since March and this has had a catastrophic impact on the tourist sector in the country. Dubai is the busiest airport in the world for international travel and Emirates is the 4th largest airline in the world by scheduled passenger-kilometers flown but during the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic, Emirates was grounded and Dubai International Airport was closed to passenger traffic.
Dubai will be open for tourism once again from 7th July 2020, but Brits accustomed to travelling to the destination will witness a number of changes. Emirates has resumed direct flights from London Heathrow and Manchester to Dubai. Flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham will resume on 1st August and Newcastle, Stansted and Gatwick will resume on 1st September. Those wanting to travel to the United Arab Emirates will need to either prove that they do not have Covid 19; either by obtaining an accepted certificate issued within 4 days of their travel or by undergoing a test on arrival. Any visitor testing positive for Covid 19 will be required to isolate at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense.
Challenges that enthusiastic visitors will need to overcome include the continued FCO advice against all but essential travel and obtaining travel insurance that provides cover both whilst the FCO advice remains extant and that provides medical cover for Covid 19. Having travel insurance that provides a sufficient level of cover will be a requirement for entry under the new rules that have been announced.
When visitors final arrive at their resort, they will be required to maintain a distance of two metres between one another on the beach, along with their sun-beds, while there must be a gap of four metres between two groups of people. Malls and other attractions are also already open or set to open in the coming days but all will be operating with various restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
It is clear the a holiday to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is not going to be the same as tourists to the destination have become accustomed to over the last two decades. However, given the limited number of long haul destinations currently welcoming British holidaymakers at this time, experts are expecting a mini boom in demand.
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