Dubai celebrated the return of MICE with the ‘Ai Everything x Restart Dubai Summer Conference’ held last week (16 July) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The event was the region’s first in-person business networking forum since the Covid-19 outbreak, bringing together leaders across key sectors including government, healthcare, education and retail.
Recognising the UAE’s AI-powered efforts to contain the pandemic and restart Dubai’s travel and tourism, the summer conference examined emerging strategies and priorities necessary for the anticipated economic resurgence.
Speakers and participants included: Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai; Mohammed Alabbar, Founder & Chairman, Emmar Properties and Founder & Director, Noon.com; Paul Griffith, CEO, Dubai Airports; and Jose Silva, CEO, Jumeirah Group.
A ‘safe travel’ stamp of approval
Prior to reopening international borders on July 7, Dubai already put in place extensive precautionary measures and protocols that adhere to international standards of health, safety and wellbeing for visitors. In recognition of its efforts, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) conferred the city the Safe Travels Stamp.
“The multi-faceted measures Dubai has adopted to ensure tourist wellbeing reflects (our) position as one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. The city’s superior healthcare infrastructure and stringent preventive and safety protocols followed by its travel, hospitality and tourism establishments and facilities city-wide, assure tourists that the emirate is one of the safest destinations in the world,” said the Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in a press statement.
To ensure the safety for all visitors and residents in the city, international visitors will need to show a negative PCR test (valid for 96 hours) upon their arrival to Dubai or carry out a free test at Dubai airports.
In addition, both tourists and returning residents must adhere to all official measures established by the Dubai Government and other countries before traveling and after returning to Dubai; disclose any symptoms before travelling by filling in a Health Declaration Form; ensure they have international health insurance coverage before traveling; register details in the COVID-19 DXB app, and bear the costs of examination and treatment, in the event they are infected with Covid-19.
The return of foreign airlines
In the past week, Dubai Airports has welcome 13 international airlines that resumed scheduled flights, including Air France, Cebu Pacific, Lufthansa and Philippine Airlines.
In addition to foreign carriers, DXB-based Emirates airline and flydubai have boosted their schedules.
“We have ensured everything is in place to welcome airlines from around the world back to Dubai as a growing number of bilateral agreements between countries conclude to facilitate the opening of borders and the gradual return of traffic,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “The message is that we are ready to welcome visitors back to Dubai and we will do our utmost to take care of them whilst they are here.”
Passengers will be required to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (masks and gloves) and arrive to the airport no less than two hours but no greater than four hours before their flight to allow time for any additional screening measures.
Precautionary measures continue to be in place throughout the airport to maintain the health and safety of customers and staff. These measures include protective plexiglass at check-in and immigration counters, thermal and temperature screening, physical distancing markers and increased levels of sanitisation in compliance with international standards set out by the relevant authorities.