From Monday, the United Arab Emirates will begin granting visas to all travellers who have been properly vaccinated against Covid, a month before Dubai hosts the postponed Expo 2020 trade show.
The decision comes as coronavirus infections in the oil-rich Gulf country have decreased, with the country reporting less than 1,000 cases per day for the first time in months last week. According to the official WAM news agency, the UAE’s decision to reopen its doors to visitors from all nations was made in order to “achieve sustained recovery and economic growth.”
“The ruling applies to citizens of all nations, even those entering from countries that were previously barred,” WAM stated.
“Passengers with tourist visas must take a required PCR test at the airport,” the statement continued.
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi, which is the capital, and Dubai, which is the largest. Despite the fact that life in the country has largely returned to normal following the Covid epidemic, the country continues to impose rigorous mask-wearing and social-distancing restrictions.
Last year, Dubai was depending on the six-month Dubai Expo 2020, which was postponed a year due to the health crisis and is now slated to begin in October, to bring in millions of people and help the economy. The emirate, which is heavily reliant on tourism, was one of the first to welcome visitors, opening its doors in July last year, only a few months after the epidemic broke out. In contrast, Abu Dhabi has been more careful, only allowing a limited number of tourists in December.