The United Arab Emirates is preparing to be the world’s leading destination for travelers over the next six months during the Expo 2020 Dubai, while the local hotel sector has regained its pre-pandemic reservation rates, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.
One of the world’s biggest in-person events since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the exhibition - expected to attract 25 million visits over six months - is just 16 days away.
Dubai, the UAE’s business hub of is keen to show it’s up and running, after the pandemic hit hard an economy built on international commerce and finance.
As the countdown heightens, the number of international visitors to the emirate is already beginning to soar.
The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has revealed the total number of passengers traveling to the UAE grew in August 2021 to over 2.5 million, compared to 814,000 in the same period of 2020, surging by 207 percent.
In its statement to WAM, the GCAA highlighted increased figures in national air traffic statistics for August, which recorded 45,953 flights.
In general, hotel reservations in the UAE already witnessed significant growth prior to the Expo 2020 Dubai. The hotel booking website, ‘Wego’ registered over 500,000 searches for flights and hotel reservations for Dubai during the event period.
The preventive measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic are one of the significant factors that helped boost the country’s stature as a safe travel destination, despite the pandemic continuing globally, the state news agency reported.
The UAE leads the list of countries in terms of vaccine distribution rate, with 79.3 percent of population being fully vaccinated until 13th September, with the number of coronavirus tests conducted being 78,651,247. The percentage of those received the first dose is 90.5.
Tourism experts and specialists predict the coming period to be a real breakthrough for the tourism sector after it recently regained its balance following a series of critical decisions made by the UAE Government, most notably allowing fully vaccinated individuals to apply for an entry visa.
Expo 2020 Dubai aims to play a key role in advancing the tourism sector and positively affect many other sectors, including aviation and transport.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “Dubai truly has something for everyone and this winter, as our home city hosts Expo 2020, the excitement and range of attractions for visitors will ratchet up, including various once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
Dubai hoteliers also say the influx of international guests will provide a welcome boost to the hospitality sector.
Siddhartha Sattanathan, general manager of the Radisson Dubai Damac Hills, one of the closest hotels to the Dubai Expo site, told Al Arabiya English they have received an influx of bookings as the countdown to the Expo heightens.”
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