Dubai reopens doors to tourists after long shutdown
With a "welcome" passport sticker and coronavirus tests on arrival, Dubai reopens its doors to international visitors Tuesday in the hope of reviving its tourism industry after a nearly four-month closure, AFP reports.
But businesses are mainly betting on those already living in the gleaming desert city to energise its ailing economy and serve as a test run before wary foreign holidaymakers return.
"A warm welcome to your second home," says the sticker applied to passports at Dubai airport, where employees wear hazmat suits and vending machines offer personal protective equipment.
The reopening comes even as the number of COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates climbs to 52,068 included 324 deaths, with millions of foreign workers living in cramped accommodation particularly hard hit.
Incoming tourists are required to present a negative test result taken within four days of the flight. If not, they can take the test on arrival, but must self-isolate until they receive the all-clear.
Tourism has long been the lifeline of the glitzy Gulf emirate, one of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates.
High season starts in October when the scorching heat of the Gulf summer starts to dissipate.
Dubai welcomed more than 16.7 million visitors last year, and before the pandemic crippled global travel, the aim had been to reach 20 million arrivals in 2020.