With an economic system depending on worldwide tourism, it was no shock to see Dubai reopen its doorways to travellers in July.
The industrial capital of the United Arab Emirates counts on the sector for over ten per cent of gross home product, or upward of US$30 billion, every year.
Nevertheless, what was not inevitable, was the success the emirate has welcomed over the next months.
A strict testing regime at Dubai Worldwide Airport sees all visitors checked for Covid-19 on arrival, limiting imported instances.
On the identical time, complete protocols govern the day-to-day actions of each residents and visitors throughout the emirate.
Mixed, these measures have allowed the town to curtail the expansion of the pandemic, and led to the return of one thing like regular life.
As Shahab Shayan, senior supervisor for worldwide operations at Dubai Tourism, tells Breaking Journey Information: “We reopened on July seventh, and since then we’ve got made positive there are strict tips and protocols in place, and that they’re adopted.
“We’ve used the World Well being Organisation (WHO) tips, that are primarily to check, take a look at and take a look at – to date, we’ve got carried out round 14 million checks right here within the United Arab Emirates.
“On prime of that, we are attempting to verify safeguards for residents and for guests coming to the vacation spot are being met.
“All buyer touchpoints, throughout lodges, eating places, and buying malls have seen the laws enforced – all public spots.
“Checks are carried out on a bi-weekly foundation; we ship inspectors in to verify all mandatory protocols are being carried out.”
This was as a result of be a banner 12 months for Dubai, with the emirate hoping to welcome 20 million worldwide visitors for the primary time.
Whereas the determine won’t now be achieved, a home growth has made up for a few of the short-fall, with plans in place to make sure progress returns in 2021.
Shayan explains: “We’ve seen a giant home growth in tourism since we reopened in July.
“We had round 750 lodges open in Dubai pre-pandemic, in February this 12 months, and we at the moment have round 600 open.
“There was some worldwide visitation, and we’re taking a look at a optimistic feeling transferring ahead.
“At this stage we aren’t in a position to put a determine on what number of visitors we are going to welcome this 12 months, with lodges opening and shutting, it has been a extra complicated state of affairs than regular.
“Nevertheless, we hope to have some numbers out by the top of the 12 months.”
Whereas the market appears to be like more likely to stay subdued within the short-term, funding has continued to circulate into the emirate, suggesting confidence in a long-term return.
Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk just lately turned the newest in a protracted line of lodges to open this 12 months, whereas properties set to return onto the market in coming months will permit the emirate to succeed in beforehand untapped segments.
Shayan continues: “There are new properties opening, which does present the power of the business right here in Dubai.
“We’ve the Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk which has just lately opened, whereas there may be additionally the Rove La Mer Beach.
“The latter is an inexpensive lodge, aimed toward households who need to be proper subsequent to the seaside, however don’t need to pay Palm Jumeirah costs – actually for these within the know.
“There’s additionally the Riu Dubai, a four-star seaside resort, the primary of its sort right here in Dubai – with round 800-keys.
“These are all very thrilling openings and present our power in the long run.”
After all, there could be little level opening new rooms if travellers had been unable to get to the emirate.
Flag-carrier Emirates has been instrumental within the success of Dubai as a tourism vacation spot over the previous three many years, and there was no change this 12 months.
“Emirates stays certainly one of our key strategic companions and so they actually have been because the emergence of Dubai on the world hospitality map,” says Shayan.
“They’ve carried out a incredible job all through the pandemic, initially by offering insurance coverage for travellers, which has now been prolonged till the top of the 12 months.
“They’ve additionally gone again to 2 thirds of their community, and they’re now flying to over 90 locations.
“Emirates has additionally given residents who need to come again to Dubai an opportunity to take action, and this has been getting some very optimistic suggestions.”
Over the summer time months, when demand is historically low, even with no international pandemic raging, Dubai has additionally labored to develop new markets.
Each are a part of a wider plan to develop the emirate in new instructions, explains Shayan: “As a vacation spot we at all times want to have a look at how we are able to evolve, taking a look at totally different angles of how we are able to introduce totally different folks to what’s on supply right here.
“There’s a massive perception at Dubai Tourism that it is a metropolis for all, and we attempt to showcase that by means of merchandise we’ve got, in addition to by means of the initiatives we launch.”
He provides: “The 2 new visas are an instance of that.
“The retirement visa is fairly simple, it’s aimed toward individuals who have been to Dubai earlier than, who’ve spent a while right here and are on the lookout for a vacation spot which has solar, sea and sand.
“They know their retirement funds are doing effectively, there is no such thing as a sophisticated paperwork, and it’s a straightforward step ahead.
“Secondly, I believe the work visa is certainly one of most fun issues we’ve got carried out throughout the pandemic.
“On this new day-and-age, with folks working from house, what higher place to work from than by the pool right here in Dubai?
“We’ve the right eco-system to assist this market, and we’ve got had main success when it comes to enquiries on this – folks asking how they’ll make the transfer.
“It is a good various to individuals who may need travelled to Dubai, who can now spend a while right here longer-term.”
As consideration turns to subsequent 12 months, and a doable Covid-19 vaccine brings hope to the worldwide hospitality market, Dubai is effectively positioned to return to progress.
The rescheduled Expo 2020 Dubai will present a focus for the 12 months, whereas there may be optimism Covid-19 laws may ultimately be relaxed.
Shayan continues: “Expo 2020 Dubai will now happen in October subsequent 12 months, working into March 2022.
“There are plenty of incredible folks engaged on the mission and they’re trying into how greatest we are able to showcase the expertise of an occasion of this type within the post-pandemic world.
“I believe, with the expo itself, it’s actually meant to be an occasion for all.
“Lots of people initially thought it was for a enterprise market, however this isn’t the case – it is vitally a lot aimed on the public, providing an opportunity to return and be taught.
“The workforce, proper now, are analyzing how they’ll come again stronger, to reassure everyone issues are going to be managed effectively.”
In closing, Shayan says Dubai is now as soon as once more very a lot open for enterprise: “Dubai is absolutely open for all, and with the totally different protocols and measures we’ve got put in place we’re very assured we’re able to welcome folks safely.
“The message could be very a lot that we’re prepared.”
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