The repercussions and restrictions of the Coronavirus pandemic are still threatening holding Expo Dubai on its scheduled date, at the end of next October, as the UAE’s fears of an outbreak of the virus again.
A year after Dubai Expo was postponed, the organizers are scheduled to start issuing tickets this week, but the pandemic may again prevent its success.
The UAE is working to make the $9.4 billion international exhibition a success, which is double what Expo 2015 in Italy earned.
If exhibition fails, this would represent a severe blow to the UAE and the Abu Dhabi government, which is doing all it can to show the exhibition in the best possible way, despite the notorious labor violations.
Expo 2020 will offer three types of tickets. A one-day ticket costs $26, a month ticket costs $53, and a six-month ticket costs $135.
The organizers of Dubai Expo have approved about 2,500 online travel agents, tour operators, hotel groups and airlines, as ticket distributors for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dubai and the UAE hope that the Expo would give their economy impetus, in light of the severe stumble affecting its economy.
Multiple country restrictions
However, with tickets to attend the exhibition on sale, and with about three months remaining to the opening, the restrictions imposed on travel to the UAE raise great concerns.
This threatens that exhibition may not receive millions of visitors which means that Dubai would incur significant financial losses giving the huge financial spending on the exhibition’s preparations.
Tourism is the key to Dubai’s economy and Dubai International Airport, the center of trade and travel in the Middle East, relies heavily on connecting passengers around the world.
This week, the US raised its COVID 19-related travel advisory for the UAE to level 4 – do not travel.
On the third of this month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced the suspension of travel to and from three countries, including the UAE, due to the repercussions of the pandemic.
For its part, Britain renewed UAE’s placement on its red list of measures related to combat the Coronavirus.
The UAE is not expected to be removed from the UK’s coronavirus red list within the next month or two.
Arrivals to Britain from the UAE must undergo a costly quarantine (£1,750 per adult) for 10 days in a government-approved hotel because the Gulf state is on the UK’s red list.
This also means that travel to the UAE is in contravention of government directives in Britain (although not illegal).
Anyone who does so will have to be tested for COVID-19 before leaving and then self-isolate at home for ten days upon return.
The UK-UAE air-line was previously one of the world’s busiest, but with demand on this route still weak, other routes have come into focus.
This week, Britain has been witnessing a remarkable increase in daily infections with the virus. The country ranks seventh in the world in terms of deaths and infections of the virus.
Until the end of last week, the total number of COVID-19 infections around the world exceeded 190,186,000. Of whom more than 4,890,000 died. And, more 173,379,000 have recovered, according to the Worldometer website.
Britain is one of the most important markets in Dubai.
Recently, Abu Dhabi removed the UK from its green list to enter the emirate without quarantine as COVID-19 cases in Britain rose with the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain.
Pressure from the Emirates
Identical Emirati sources confirmed that the authorities are making intensive efforts with many countries that put them on their red list, led by Britain, to remove emirate from those lists.
The sources also stated that the pressures of Abu Dhabi have not achieved any desired result so far, as Britain and other countries are concerned about the large outbreak of the Coronavirus in the Emirates.
The sources highlighted that the main issue for these countries is not that they do not depend on facilities and exceptions provided by the Emirati authorities as much as the continued outbreak of the virus and mutated strains in the UAE raises global concerns.
Yesterday, the UAE Ministry of Health and Community Protection announced the detection of 1,530 new Coronavirus cases from different nationalities, bringing the total registered cases to 657,884.
The Ministry also announced the death of seven cases due to the repercussions of infection, bringing the number of deaths in the country to 1,892 cases.