As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, there is perhaps not a single business sector or vertical that has not been affected by it. Many countries are still following lockdown measures and people are tending to spend most of their time indoors to avoid possible contamination. But now things have changed and many destinations have been marked safe for traveling and Dubai is one of them.
Throughout these first four months of the pandemic, perhaps the worst hit was the tourism sector. Many countries are still not permitting or limitedly operating their domestic or international flights or other modes of conveyance. The travel restrictions come as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. But due to these restrictions, there have been no tourists in almost all major countries for more than four months. People have been scared, worried, and simply barred from traveling.
But as the unlock phase has been in effect, many countries are showing interest in operating their flights in and out of the country. And in this regard, Dubai is leading the way. Dubai has reopened some of its international flights from 7th July.
In fact, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has awarded Dubai a global safety and hygiene stamp making it one of the safest destinations amidst the global pandemic.
So, what has Dubai done to make things safe for tourists? Let’s find out.
What are WTTC Safety Stamps and Why They Matter for Travelers
WTTC is a council that represents private-sector travel and tourism. After the COVID-19 outbreak, it created Safe Travel stamps to help tourists identify safe destinations across the globe. The stamp signifies that a country or a city is maintaining the global standards of hygiene and protocols.
The stamp provides guidelines to travelers and travel providers about the protocols that are to be maintained in the “new normal” of a post-COVID-19 world. Instructions regarding health, hygiene, physical distancing, and deep cleansing are stated and to earn a stamp, a country or a business must adhere to those protocols strictly.
WTTC members dealing with COVID-19 has come up with this unique way of determining which places or businesses around the world are safe. The protocols are in line and based on the guidelines from the World Health Organization and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
This makes the safety and hygiene of travelers a top priority and this move has been welcomed by The United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Dubai has earned this stamp following the stringent measures that the city has taken to ensure the safety and hygiene of travelers. The safety protocols are stringently deployed across all and every tourist touchpoints.
So, travelers to Dubai from across the world can now feel safe knowing that the enhanced measures of safety and hygiene are deployed and are in place ensuring them safe travels.
As mentioned earlier, Dubai has opened for tourists from 7th July onwards. But you need to follow certain guidelines and meet certain requirements when you travel there from overseas. Apart from fulfilling the visa requirements you need to meet some travel requirements if you are traveling from overseas. These steps that the UAE government has taken, make sure that traveling to Dubai would be safe for you and others.
If you do not possess international travel insurance, you must have medical travel insurance covering COVID-19 before traveling. You also need to conduct a PCR test for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Dubai. The test results are valid for 96 hours, i.e. you need to carry out the test maximum 96 hours before you land in Dubai airport.
If you do not have the test results upon arriving in Dubai, the PCR test will be carried on at the Dubai international airport and you need to be in quarantine till the test results are out. If you are found negative, you do not have to spend 14 days in self-isolation.
In addition to this, you need to sign a declaration before departing to Dubai where it will be stated that you agree to bear all costs of quarantine and treatment (if you catch the disease somehow) and also you’ll be checked for the symptoms.
On arrival to Dubai, tourists are required to register all their details in the COVID-19 DXB app.
If a tourist is not carrying a valid PCR test result, a test will be carried out at the relevant Dubai centers. In case you have a test result and that is negative prior to departure but you are showing symptoms upon arrival, the PCR test may be repeated.
Dubai international airports are also following regular measures like temperature screening of every passenger, maintaining social distance, and wearing masks or face covers.
Dubai has deployed several measures to ensure that the tourists have a safe stay there. Part of them is the tourists’ responsibility. He or she must abide by all the “new normal” requirements like using masks, maintaining social distancing, using sanitizers, etc. Apart from that, constant self-monitoring is also advised to check for symptoms.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is continuing to prioritize, monitor, and assure the safety of all visitors. High standards of public hygiene and safety are maintained across the city in line with the guidelines from WHO. So, the safety and health of all travelers and residents are maintained and not compromised by any means.
The holiday homes and hotels are available for booking. The hotels are following the health and safety guidelines from the Dubai Municipality strictly. So, you’ll find the hotel rooms properly sterilized and sanitized, all to ensure a safe stay in Dubai. Also, you need to wear a mask all the time while in the hotel and can check in to a room only after 24 hours have passed since the last visitor checked out.
Dubai authorities are taking all the necessary actions to ensure a safe stay there. But despite that, if you find yourself showing symptoms of COVID-19, you can always contact a certified center for conducting tests. If you are found to be COVID positive, you’ll be required to stay in strict quarantine for 14 days, as per the regulations put forward by the Dubai Command and Control Centre. You have to bear the costs of treatment and isolation.
However, there are quarantine options including institutional quarantine (dedicated hotels), or hospitalization, depending on the health conditions and the severity of symptoms.
These safety measures not only ensure your own safety and health but of others including residents too. And Dubai has shown a strict and non-relaxed attitude in following all the guidelines in line with the World Health Organization making it one of the safest travel destinations amidst this pandemic. If you are in the city, and not feeling well for any reason, immediately consult a doctor by vising a medical clinic in Dubai.
Emirates, the state-owned airline and flag carrier of United Arab Emirates has its guidelines that are strictly maintained and followed ensuring a safe journey. So, if you are traveling to Dubai via Emirates, you’ll find some very strict measures deployed there.
When flying into Dubai via Emirates, you’ll receive a hygiene kit consisting of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and anti-bacterial wipes.
All the cabin crew will be in full personal protective equipment (PPE). You’ll need to wear your mask at all times during the flight except when eating or drinking.
In case your flight is over 1 hour 30 minutes, an additional cabin service attendant cleans the lavatories every 45 minutes. Also, the lavatories have sanitizing soaps with washing instructions.
Emirates has removed all reading materials, and the safety cards are properly disinfected. The waste bags are disposed of and replaced after every flight. All food and beverages in the flight are hygienically prepared. So, there is no chance of any contamination there.
If you are staying in Dubai, you’ll receive a Quarantine Undertaking form in the flight which you need to fill up and hand over to the authorities upon arrival.
All aircraft are deeply cleaned and disinfected in Dubai and go through a rigorous and enhanced disinfection procedure.
First, you need to hand over the Quarantine Undertaking form that you filled up in the flight to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) staff. You’ll then pass through thermal scanners.
If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, you’ll be then taken to the Dubai International Airport Medical Centre for further checks. If you are not showing the symptoms, you can move on to the Immigration and collect your baggage.
If you are receiving a PCR test at the airport, you need to self-isolate until you receive the test results. If you test positive, you must follow the regulations from the DHA. Otherwise, you are free to leave the airport and continue with your travel.
If you are traveling away from home via Emirates, you’ll automatically receive a free global cover for COVID-19 related costs. This cover applies when you travel between 23rd July and 31st October and is valid for 31 days from the moment you take your first flight.
The cover applies to all travel classes, so you need not worry about the costs. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while you are away from home, Emirates promises to cover your medical expenses up to EUR 150,000 and quarantine costs up to EUR 100 per day for 14 days, absolutely free.
You do not need to complete any registration forms whatsoever. There is also a hotline number that you can contact for receiving support and use the cover if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 on your travel.
These measures taken by the Emirates ensure that you travel safe and also if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you do not need to worry about the costs or other factors. Thus, Dubai becomes safer with Emirates taking these excellent steps to assist passengers to have a safe journey.
The UAE government has taken several steps to educate its citizens of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that the regulations are followed everywhere.
At the outbreak of the pandemic, UAE, which consists of seven emirates, closed its borders in March. All flights were barred and a nationwide nighttime curfew was deployed. But the restrictions have gradually scaled-down and as mentioned, Dubai has been open for tourists from 7th July onwards.
All the major shopping malls, beaches, parks, and cinemas have now opened with the safety regulations being followed everywhere.
As a tourist you need to follow all the safety protocols like wearing a mask in public places, washing hands with sanitizing soaps for at least 20 seconds and maintaining social distancing.
In some special cases, wearing a mask is not mandatory. For example, children below 6 years of age or person with certain medical conditions that make it difficult to breathe, are exempted.
You can get detailed information on how the UAE government has handled the pandemic situation and is continuing to do so at its official website.
Dubai has always been the place travelers love to visit. With the mighty Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the fountain, and the beautiful beaches, it has always attracted travelers from all across the globe. Even amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai has kept its gates open for international travelers.
Dubai has shown extreme determination in terms of action to follow the regulatory protocols put forward by WHO and has succeeded in containing the spread.
So, if you are thinking of traveling amidst this pandemic it would be wise if you keep Dubai on your list. Dubai has all the marvels and wonders open for you and it is also safe.