Borders reopen for summer

As restrictions ease in Europe, most GCC travellers can look forward to resuming their travel plans once again this summer. The vaccination drive has expedited the process and travellers from the UAE can travel to almost 20 destinations including Europe. Travel professionals from tourism boards, airlines & travel agencies share their views with TRAVTALK.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates
Emirates is committed to keeping Dubai, businesses and communities around the world connected and we are working hard to rebuild our network and secure access to more destinations in partnership with various authorities and stakeholders. We are encouraged by the latest developments as many countries have begun to turn the page and reopen for international visitors.

Daniel Rosado, Director, Spanish Tourism for the Gulf countries
We are delighted to welcome all vaccinated travelers from GCC back to Spain with our usual warmth, the highest health & security measures, and with no quarantine. All EMA and WHO approved vaccines are valid, which is great. Spain is a tourism oriented country and one of the most visited in the world so great effort was taken to speed up vaccination to reopen assuring maximum safety.

Yamina Sofo, Director of Sales and Marketing, German National Tourist Office, Gulf Countries
We are looking forward to welcoming vaccinated leisure travellers back to Germany without any quarantine restrictions from June 25. We are optimistic that our German.Local.Culture and Feel Good campaigns – which offer fantastic access to Germany’s bountiful and sustainable tourism ventures – will enable us to reach 800,000 overnight stays this year.

Nasir Jamal Khan, CEO, Al Naboodah Travel
As UAE summer is stretching out ahead, many people are planning for a change of scenery, whether reconnecting with nature, visiting friends and family, or simply enjoying the luxury of being able to get away and, with a long break expected for Eid, plus the school holidays, travel is on the minds of every citizen and resident of the UAE. Travellers already have dozens of destination options from the UAE such as Maldives, Turkey, Georgia, etc. Also, with rapid vaccination drives being carried all over the world, European tourism is gradually reopening too. European destinations are highly popular in UAE. Al Naboodah Travel is offering customised summer packages for its customers.

Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO, Cozmo Travel
As travel restrictions ease up, majority of citizens in GCC especially in the UAE (80%) already fall into the fully vaccinated category, while in other countries 60% to 80% have been vaccinated. Normally summer holidays mean family holidays especially among the citizens of GCC, and the good news is that children over 12 years also can get vaccinated, which means family holidays can be planned once again. Also, now UAE nationals and residents can travel to almost 19 countries without quarantine ranging from Europe, starting from Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Turkey. The USA is safe to travel and Mexico will open up, then in the Indian ocean there is Seychelles and Maldives already open and in Africa there is Kenya and Tanzania. In Asia there are new destinations offering quarantine free travel so this is a very positive sign for travel and tourism. In addition to this, Emirates announced last week that they will resume in July and August over 280 flights weekly which means we will see a good number of families travelling to the countries that are safe to travel. Apart from this the re-opening of terminal one is another positive sign, and this year we hope to see leisure family holidays by residents and GCC nationals.

Inputs by Shehara Rizly

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