Onwards and upwards
Business Traveller Middle East|July - August 2021
In an exclusive interview with Ian Fairservice for Business Traveller, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Founder of the Emirates Group, provides insight into the current and future state of travel and Emirates’ pivotal role in getting the industry back on track

Sheikh Ahmed on the economic outlook for Dubai and the travel sector in 2021

Dubai’s economy has weathered the pandemic impact well. We are in a strong position and recently reported double-digit economic growth in Q1 2021 compared to a year ago. This achievement was made possible by the government’s stimulus packages and proactive policies, which helped contain the pandemic and mitigate its repercussions on different sectors. It also shows the resilience of the Dubai economy, which has been built on years of investments in infrastructure across diverse sectors, supported by good governance.

As a global business hub for trade, travel and tourism, it’s essential for Dubai to remain open for international flows of goods and people. That is something that we managed to achieve much earlier than most other countries, again thanks to good policies, clear leadership and public-private sector co-operation. A year ago, in July 2020, Dubai already opened for business and international travellers with health and safety protocols in place. When vaccines became available, our nation rolled out one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns.

All of this contributes to creating high levels of global confidence in Dubai, attracting visitors, major trade events, as well as businesses and investments.

On summer expectations for travel

Countries are progressing with their vaccination programmes and implementing protocols for the safe resumption of international travel. Markets like the US, France, Italy, and popular holiday destinations like the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Phuket are now open for quarantine-free travel, and we have seen a corresponding spike in travel bookings.

To meet this demand, Emirates is boosting its summer schedules with additional flights layered onto high traffic routes. By the end of July, we will have restarted flights to half a dozen more cities, taking our network to 90 per cent of what it was pre-pandemic. Our A380s will be flying to 15 cities, and we will have launched a new destination in the US, Miami.

On the prospects of the UAE being removed from the UK’s red list

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Onwards and upwards

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