The COVID-19 pandemic had suddenly and deeply changed our lives as we knew it, in a way comparable with the most traumatic events in history. Nearly two years after the world’s biggest lockdown, life seems to be getting back to normal as infection rates fall.
Dubai experienced a severe blockade in 2020 owing to the global outbreak of Covid-19, the devastating effect it had on travel, trade and business activity, in general the non-oil economy, which accounted for around 80 per cent of the country’s overall GDP. The UAE government’s response to the pandemic was swift and decisive. Effective public health measures were immediately implemented, beginning with activating an emergency response system, issuing guidance for risk communication with the public, building field hospitals and providing rapid drive-through PCR testing. UAE was one of the first countries to support and actively participate in clinical trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy and immunogenicity of various vaccines. Remarkably, clinical trials were launched in the UAE for the first time in its history. All these resulted in making it one of the first country to reopen its tourism industry.
The UAE has the highest rates of fully vaccinated residents in the world. Recently some restrictions have been relaxed, as masks are no longer required outdoors, but according to federal guidelines released earlier this week, they should continue to be worn indoors. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has also decided to cancel the quarantine requirements for Covid-19 contacts. Close contacts working in the state sector should perform a daily PCR test for 5 days. The quarantine protocol for infected individuals will continue unchanged, as previously announced. However, infected people will no longer wear wristbands. The current 1 meter distance between the worshipers of the mosque and the place of worship is also maintained.
The UAE has also abolished PCR testing for fully vaccinated arrivals from February 26th. Fully vaccinated passengers only need to present a vaccination certificate containing a readable QR code. Unvaccinated travellers will be presented with a negative PCR test performed within 48 hours of departure or a recovery certificate with a QR code certifying that they have recovered from the coronavirus within 1 month of the date of travel is needed.
Abu Dhabi has also abolished the greenlist system, removed the quarantine of all international travellers, and ended border control at checkpoints for commuters entering the city. The Green Pass system is retained for access to public spaces in the capital.
After almost two years of constant fear and anxiety, it is nice to see smiling faces walking around the streets of Dubai. With the success of the Expo 2020 and various other initiatives and events by the UAE government it’s safe to say that businesses are seeing an upward graph. The latest news of Emaar’s massive success in the real estate industry Dubai seems to be the leader in pioneering the world out of the crisis.
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