Dubai Tourism chief says reopening is likely from July bit it will be gradual and dependent on global trends. Dubai hopes to begin welcoming tourists from July, Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
While the tourism chief had advised that the reopening of the emirate to tourists will be gradual, he also cautioned that the initiative could be delayed until September, with the decision mainly dependent on global trends. “The thing about the scenario is a global question,” Al Marri said. “Many countries remain closed and it’s more about the bilateral discussion.”
He also added that the emirate requires “to make sure we’re ready if things come earlier than expected.”
In the interview, the DTCM director general outlined his three-phase outlook for tourism; phase one, which he detailed was the current phase, where tourism is on pause. Al Marri referred to the second phase as the “COVID era of reopening”, where people would travel to see family and friends and the third phase as the post-COVID era of normality.
The announcement was made in the same week that Dubai began lifting lockdown measures. In initial step towards entering a new phase of its coronavirus recovery. This week, shopping malls including Nakheel Mall and The Dubai Mall have reopened their doors, while restaurants are being permitted to operate at 30% capacity with clear instruction for them to follow strict health and safety measures. Residents are now able to move around the city without a permit between the hours of 06:00 and 22:00 after the 24-hour lockdown was reduced to 8 hours. Hotels are also now ready to operate, although areas including the swimming pools, gyms, sauna and massage parlours must remain closed.
However, flights in and out of the UAE are suspended (with the exception of outbound repatriation flights) until further notice, a measure introduced on March 25. The issuance of tourist visas has also been suspended since March 17.
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