UAE: Domestic tourism to rebound as Abu Dhabi eases entry rules – News
Domestic and inter-emirate tourism are expected to increase now that Abu Dhabi has removed Covid-19 pre-entry testing at border entry points, travel industry experts have said.
On Saturday, September 18, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee announced that visitors are no longer required to present a Covid-19 test report at the border before entering the Emirate.
Updated entry procedures are limited only to those entering Abu Dhabi via road borders. The border testing protocols were put in place during the summer of 2020.
Authorities in Abu Dhabi have also approved the wristband-free home quarantine for international travelers and those with contact with positive cases, effective today (Sunday, September 19). However, positive patients should still wear a bracelet. Experts in the travel industry have said that all of these decisions will encourage residents and tourists of Dubai and the Northern Emirates to visit the capital.
Customized Abu Dhabi Travel Packages
Raheesh Babu, chief operating officer of the Musafir.com group, said the agency has launched customized packages for attractions in Dubai and other emirates, except Abu Dhabi, as tourists are reluctant to perform several PCRs and quarantine for a few days.
“We have had customized UAE packages for our clients. Our packages mainly focused on Dubai attractions, and tourists were willing to visit Abu Dhabi but were a little hesitant about PCR testing and quarantine, ”Babu said.
“However, now that the gates to the capital have opened and residents and tourists alike can travel to the capital without a pre-entry test, I suspect that the demand for trips to Abu Dhabi from other Emirates should be increasing, ”he added.
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Despite border testing requirements, demand for stays at Abu Dhabi properties has remained high throughout the past year. “Residents were ready to get tested and travel to Abu Dhabi for a vacation,” Babu added. However, travel agents are now developing travel packages specific to Expo2020.
The offers include a six-night package, including four nights for a trip to Dubai and two nights in Abu Dhabi. “An alternative solution is that residents can land in Abu Dhabi, explore the city, and then travel to Dubai to visit the Expo site. Only if the passengers are not vaccinated, they must undergo a quarantine in the capital, ”he added.
Officers said the majority of travelers coming to the UAE were fully vaccinated. “Even the Expo authorities are asking for proof of vaccination,” Babu explained.
“Demand is expected to skyrocket at the start of the winter months”
Mir Waseem Raja, director of MICE and vacations at Galadari International Travel Services (ITS), also told Khaleej Times that travel agents based in different parts of the world have welcomed the move and are asking them to customize a package that includes Abu Dhabi. “There are many attractions in the capital and we have received requests to include Abu Dhabi in our itinerary. We can see a good number of tourists visiting both places now, ”he said.
Rashid Abbas, Managing Director of Arooha Travels, said: “Many tourists who are currently in Dubai can now see the capital. Even residents have been visiting Abu Dhabi for a while, so there will be strong local demand once the winter months kick in. You can see the difference just by looking at the road traffic. The roads are very busy. “
Agents said most international travelers visiting the UAE are from the subcontinent, and a steady stream of queries for winter travel are from countries in North America and Latin America. “We also have group requests from Qatar. People want to see the Expo. Hotel rates are also expected to increase from October 1, ”Babu said.