UAE to resume visas for vaccinated tourists

Photo: Emirates.com
AFP

The United Arab Emirates has announced to resume issuing visas to all tourists who are fully vaccinated from Monday. The decision will be applicable to all countries including Pakistan, said the official WAM news agency.

According to the press release, those eligible would have to be fully vaccinated with one of the Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation, which include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

The decision comes after a drop in COVID-19 infections in UAE after it reported less than 1,000 cases per day last week for the first time in months.

The UAE’s decision to reopen its doors to tourists from all countries was taken in order “to achieve sustainable recovery and economic growth”, the official WAM news agency reported on Saturday.

“The decision applies to citizens of all countries, including those arriving from previously banned countries,” WAM said.

“Passengers arriving on tourist visas must [undergo] a mandatory PCR test at the airport,” it added.

While life in the country has largely returned to normal amid the Covid pandemic, UAE continues to enforce strict rules on wearing masks and social distancing.

Dubai was last year counting on the six-month Dubai Expo 2020 — delayed a year by the health crisis and now set to open in October — to attract millions of visitors and boost the economy.

Heavily reliant on tourism, the emirate was one of the first destinations to open its doors to travelers, accepting tourists in July last year, just a few months after the pandemic took hold.

Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, has been more cautious, opening up to some visitors only in December.