Passengers at Dubai international airport. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Travel outside the UAE has now been permitted. This is indeed good news, especially for those who have been waiting patiently for the past six months to travel back home to see their families. It is also a relief for those who have urgent business obligations abroad. Or just for those who would like to escape the hot weather.

The new travel guidelines, issued by UAE authorities on Friday, came amid positive reports on the pandemic, particularly regarding the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and the declining number of infections locally.

Many companies engaged in the development of the antidote have recently reported positive results of initial human trials. The death rate has been on the decline for some time too, while the recovery rate is on the rise. In many parts of the world, like the UAE, the daily recovery numbers regularly exceed the new infections.

While travelling might be essential for some, staycation this summer seems a safer and rewarding alternative.


Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: the coronavirus threat is not over. The threat is clear and present in some parts of the world. Some countries continue to witness rapid surge in new cases. As of Saturday, the global infection count passed the 11-million mark.

Therefore, we must think carefully before we travel. We have to be judicious, when and where to fly. And follow the precautionary guidelines associated with flying out or returning.

According to the new guidelines, Emiratis and residents can now travel to the countries where the national carriers — Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai and Air Arabia operate flights “provided they adhere to precautionary measures specified by the competent health authorities in the UAE when returning.”

A time to enjoy the sights of UAE

Emiratis must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s app Tawajudi to ensure that the authorities can contact them in case of emergency. All must get tested for COVID-19 before flying as per the regulations in the destination country. Travellers also need valid international health care coverage. These guidelines are meant to ensure the safety of travellers, fellow passengers and airline air and ground crew.

And that is the responsibility of people who make the critical decision to travel at the time of a pandemic. Meanwhile, those who don’t want to travel have a wonderful option — staycation. Why not explore the UAE this summer, with its rich scenery, luxurious resorts, and long sunny beaches?

While travelling might be essential for some, staycation this summer seems a safer and rewarding alternative. The UAE welcomes millions of tourists every year who enjoy many amazing activities. Perhaps it is the right time we try this option for a change.