Woman sunbathers sit along a beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai on July 24, 2020, while behind is seen the Burj al-Arab hotel. After a painful four-month tourism shutdown that ended earlier in July, Dubai is billing itself as a safe destination with the resources to ward off coronavirus.
KARIM SAHIB | AFP via Getty Images
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — While much of the world languished in full or partial coronavirus lockdowns this winter, under governments’ pleas to stay indoors, the Middle East’s leisure and commerce hub of Dubai has been welcoming tourists craving some semblance of normality to its balmy beaches and reopened restaurants, malls, amusement parks and hotels.
But the Gulf emirate of roughly 3.4 million, after a long stretch of low Covid-19 case counts, may be seeing clouds on the horizon. The U.K., one of Dubai’s largest sources of tourists, has taken the United Arab Emirates off its “safe travel corridor” in the wake of nearly a tripling of daily Covid cases in the country within the span of two weeks from late December. That means that travelers returning from the UAE to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are required to self-isolate for 10 days starting Tuesday.
“The LATEST data indicates we need to immediately remove the #UAE from the #TRAVELCORRIDOR list,” U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted late evening on Monday. “From 0400 Tuesday 12 Jan anyone arriving from the UAE will need to SELF-ISOLATE.”