The UK has dropped from being Dubai’s third biggest market to its fifth since the pandemic, but authorities say they are doing everything they can to ensure it reverts quickly to its pre-Covid position.
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Issam Kazim, chief executive of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The UK was our number three market pre-Covid. It’s not actually dropped that much, but it has dropped to number five for us. It’s not where it was and we want it to get back and to be growing as well.
“So we’re doing everything that we can from our side to remain top of mind. And also to make sure that the individuals know of everything that we’ve done so they feel absolutely at ease to know that the minute it’s [on the] green list, they’re back to Dubai.”
Kazim said it was a “frustration” that Dubai was still on the UK government’s red list, meaning anyone travelling to Dubai would have to quarantine in a hotel on their return to the UK, but said he understood nations doing what they felt was right to keep their nationals safe.
“I know that also from a UK perspective, they [the government] has been very candid. They have said that it’s not about Dubai in general that’s the issue, it was more about the transit and so on. I think there are different ways for that to be tackled and I don’t think that we should stop tourists who are looking forward to visiting Dubai from visiting,” he said.
But he added: “At the end of the day, everyone is doing it for the right reasons. Everyone is trying to ensure that the remain as safe as possible for their people and for the responsibilities that they have.”
Kazim added that Dubai had taken significant steps to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.
“What I can definitely say is we are confident of the measures that we have in place, to the extent where even if you look at Emirates Airlines, Fly Dubai, Etihad, all of them have also started to offer Covid insurance to give people peace of mind when they come to Dubai,” he said.
“The World Travel and Tourism Council has also recognised the efforts that we’ve put into place. And we have not rested there; we’ve launched our own Dubai Assure programme to ensure [everyone’s safety] because we know – one slip up; one mistake can actually have a much, much bigger negative impact to recover from than everything else that we’ve done.”
Kazim added: “We don’t take this lightly. We have never taken the safety and well-being of all those who reside in Dubai, and who visit Dubai, lightly. It’s very, very important and continues to be so.”