Dubai tourism chief hails UK move to end quarantine rules

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, says he hopes decision will result in influx of British visitors to Dubai for some winter sun

The UAE’s removal from the British quarantine list is set to give renewed “confidence” to UK visitors, according to Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

“Following the announcement to include Dubai on the UK’s travel exemption quarantine list, we are delighted to welcome British visitors back to the city from December 3. Since opening our borders on July 7, it’s been a key priority for us to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our residents and guests in Dubai,” the Dubai Tourism CEO told Arabian Business.

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“We hope the emirate’s stringent measures and being added to UK travel exemption quarantine list will lend confidence to British visitors to come and experience Dubai for some winter sun,” Kazim, pictured below, added.

The UAE was removed from the UK’s quarantine list at 4am on Saturday, so travellers from the emirate will not have to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival in Britain.

The announcement also saw Bahrain, Turks and Caicos islands, Laos, Iceland, Chile, Cambodia and Qatar added to the government’s travel corridor following a decrease in risk from coronavirus in the listed countries.

International travel from England has been banned since November 5 when the country was placed under a national lockdown, although travel for work is allowed.

The UK is an important source market for Dubai historically, ranking as the third biggest source market to Dubai in 2019, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

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Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, told Arabian Business: “As we saw with the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, announced earlier this week, there is pent-up demand to travel and, if the lockdown ends as advertised, people will immediately book flights between the UK and the Gulf.

“We expect those bookings will be dominated by leisure and personal travel during the Christmas holiday period rather than business travel.”

Ponti added: “Whilst the lifting of travel restrictions is certainly welcome, from an economic point of view, there is still a very long way to go before demand returns to normal levels.”

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