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Updated 3 November 2021
Can’t resist travelling anymore? We understand. It’s been ages since we have been bound to our homes and it’s only natural if you aren’t able to defy those itchy feet. In some circumstances, travel might even be unavoidable. Whatever the reason, travelling to the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic is safe only if you follow the precautionary guidelines to the tee.
Here’s how you can travel safely to the UAE in 2021.
Current COVID-19 situation in the UAE
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, through its careful combination of rapid testing measures, strict safety procedures and an efficient vaccination drive, the UAE had always been able to show exceptional performance in dealing with the virus. Safety rules are still in place, along with testing and quarantine requirements if you’re travelling to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Despite the ebb and flow of the pandemic case count, the majority of the population has been vaccinated. As we enter the end of the second half of the year, the UAE has so far fully vaccinated over 87.86% of the population, and around 97% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Precautions while travelling in the UAE
A mask is the most basic but the most effective protection at your disposal. Wearing masks that completely cover the mouth and nose reduces the spread of COVID-19. While physical distancing rules in Dubai have relaxed, reducing from three meters to two meters now, face masks must still be worn at all times in public. The Supreme Committee has also highlighted the importance of public cooperation, and violators will face stiff penalties following frequent inspections.
Dodging the crowds
The general rule while travelling during the pandemic is to avoid all crowded places. While going sightseeing, it is better to stick to offbeat places.
Trade visiting thronged attractions like the Burj Khalifa, overcrowded beaches and amusement parks for the less-explored activities such as wildlife viewing, bird watching, and safaris, mountain biking, snorkelling, and kayaking. You won’t only stay away from the crowds but have an equally memorable experience with less risk.
Beware of petty crimes
The UAE has a really low crime rate. Violent crime is rare. You may get some petty theft and bag snatching but besides this, the UAE is safe to travel to. But low crime does not mean no crime, so you will have to be vigilant at all times to steer clear away from petty thieves and pickpockets, especially in crowded areas.
Carry the bare minimum with you, keep all precious items (that includes your travel documents) at the hotel. Be alert around touts and guides and hold on to your belongings firmly.
Traveling on public transportation increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces. Taxis are better alternatives during a situation like this. Taxis are easy to find in the UAE, they run by the meter and pretty cost-effective.
Accommodation and food safety
Practically all of the UAE offers luxury of all kinds, from mind-blowing beach resorts to splendid 7-star hotels. There are also several budget-friendly accommodation options with strict safety protocols, but renting a homestay or Airbnb is safer. It will also provide a different way to see the city away from all the skyscrapers and luxury hotels.
In-dining options in restaurants are open right now.
Is it safe to travel to the UAE now?
The emirates’ stellar record of controlling the pandemic helps put it on the list of one of the safest destinations in the world.
However, even if you are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, follow all the necessary precautions without any negligence or complacency for a safe and pleasant trip.