Travel could normalise as soon as the autumn says Dubai Tourism Director General

Published: 10 July 2020 - 3:45 a.m.
By: Josh Corder
HE Helal Al Marri, the Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has said in an interview that the emirate’s travel industry will soon normalise.

Speaking on Quest Means Business with CNN’S Richard Quest, His Excellency outlined a possible roadmap for the city’s recovery. Al Marri expressed that: “Countries are opening up, albeit slowly but I do expect a lot of countries to open up over the course of the summer. As we come into the fall and the winter, travel will normalise, albeit within this Covid situation. You know, once we look through that, to post-Covid, things -- we're expected to come back to normal.”

Al Marri stressed that Covid is not an issue with the travel industry, but instead an event that will eventually pass. He said: “This is an event. There's not a systemic issue with travel overall. People still really want to go on holiday. We can see that from the searches online and from the demand.”

With a keen focus on Covid testing, Dubai has put itself in a good standing to allure travellers. Al Marri explained: “The authorities here are in touch with the authorities over there and working on things. When it comes to the UAE, you have to appreciate that we're following the W.H.O. [World Health Organisation] advice, which is test, test, test.”

Dubai reopened its doors to tourists on July 7 and hotel groups have already seen a noticeable uptick in bookings. However, a handful of them do not share in Al Marri’s outlook that things will normalise by the year’s end. For many in the industry, hospitality and travel’s bounce back will be a gradual event.

Read the full story on Dubai reopening here.

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