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Travel demand for UAE still strong, says top tourism official

DUBAI, July 8, 2020

Traveller demand to visit the UAE and Dubai is still strong, said Helal Al Marri, the Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in a recent interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, further stating that “travel will normalise” in the Autumn and Winter.
 
Speaking on Quest Means Business, Al Marri discussed his plans for welcoming back international visitors to the region.
 
"When it comes to the UAE, you have to appreciate that we're following the W.H.O. [World Health Organisation] advice, which is test, test, test. And you know, we're doing that many tests," he said.
 
"People who are coming to Dubai need to make their health declaration, which the airline provides. In Dubai Airport, you also have all the thermal imaging, which they need to undergo. People can take the Covid test before they come, and many people do opt to do that. It's valid up 96 hours before. For those who don't, they need to take it in the city and that's our way of safeguarding everyone coming into the city and this ensures we don't need to apply quarantine to those who test negative; and of course those who test positive, they can be taken care of, either institutional stays such as a hotel that's been set up or if they need hospitalisation," Al Marri told CNN.
 
Speaking to Quest about international visitors, particularly from the European Union, AL Marri said that "it's a very fluid situation". 
 
"What we understand is these lists are being updated every couple [of] weeks. The authorities here are in touch with the authorities over there and working on things," he added.
 
When asked about when traveller numbers would return to pre-Covid numbers, Al Marri said: "Countries are opening up, albeit slowly but I do expect a lot of countries to open up over the course of the summer. As we come into the fall and the winter, travel will normalise, albeit within this Covid situation. People still really want to go on holiday. We can see that from the searches online and from the demand."



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