JAKARTADAILY.ID - Despite the growing global concern over the Omicron variant, travel through Dubai surges around the end of the year as foreigners return home for the holidays and tourists arrive to celebrate the New Year, according to Reuters on Wednesday (December 22, 2021).
The UAE has relatively lax COVID-19 travel restrictions in comparison to most countries. Gabriela Pourova, a tourist from the Czech Republic, told Reuters that she only needed a PCR test to enter Dubai.
Livya Feho, another tourist traveling from Israel to Brazil, took a few selfies in the main area of Dubai's worldwide market, covered with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Feho told Reuters that she was not worried about catching COVID-19 because she "had the booster dose" and was also "using the mask", and she thinks she "will be fine".
Dubai, the Middle East's economic and tourism capital, cannot afford another lockdown. Its economy, which has slumped as a result of coronavirus restrictions, is mainly reliant on tourism. With over seven million visitors since the incorporation of Dubai Expo 2020 on October 1, the city also depends on the six-month trade exposition to boost the economy.
Despite worldwide lockdowns, the city attracted 5.5 million visits in 2020 and 4.88 million by the end of October this year, according to government figures.
The development comes amid the report that the number of COVID-19 infections in the UAE is again on the rise, with 665 new cases reported on Wednesday.