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GRADUAL REOPENING: The re-opening of commercial activity after July 7 in Dubai is starting to kick in. Travel and hospitality have seen marked pick-ups.
Image Credit: Gulf News
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SIGNS OF UAE RECOVERY: From the third week of May 2020, coronavirus cases started on a downward trend. Recoveries started overtaking infections too. The UAE has tested more than half of the country's 10 million population. Doctors say this trend is positive, but cautioned that people should keep up precautionary measures. On Monday (August 10, 2020) the UAE confirmed 179 new cases of COVID-19, while another 198 recovered, and no deaths. Total COVID-19 tally in country stood at 62,704, with recoveries up to 56,766. https://gn24.ae/9fda4377613f000
Image Credit: WHO / Wikipedia
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TRADE CENTRE AS FIELD HOSPITAL: On April 15, 2020, at the height of COVID-19 pandemic, the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) was converted into a field hospital, with up to 3,000 beds. On July 7, 2020, nurses and doctors greeted Japanese citizen Hiroaki Fujita, after making full recovery. He was the last patient to be discharged from the facility. https://gn24.ae/a21d0f0c7e31000
Image Credit: AFP
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GETTING BUSIER: Ask any airport and airline staff in Dubai, and there's a common observation: things are getting ramped up around them. The airport is once again humming with activity following months of travel shutdown all over the world. Dubai re-opened to tourists on July 7, 2020, initially to 30 destinations.
Image Credit: Dubai Airports
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MORE FLIGHTS: Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international passengers, has ramped up flight operations, with guarantees that the airline will foot COVID-19 medical bills of a passenger in the unfortunate event they will contract it during the travel. As of August 6, 2020, more routes were reopened. In the next few weeks, from August or September 2020, Emirates’ passenger network will cover 70 destinations. That's over 50% of its pre-pandemic reach.
Image Credit: Supplied
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CONFIDENCE IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT: During the recent Eid holidays, from July 30 to August 2, close to 3 million riders took public transport in Dubai, with the Dubai Metro topping the list with 909,106 riders.
Image Credit: RTA
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RE-OPENING: There are signs that Dubai is now on the comeback trail. A brand-new hotel, the Jumeirah Living Marina Gate, is set to open in Dubai Marina on September 1.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
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LIVE GIGS PERMITTED: Dubai Tourism recently announced that concerts, live events, exhibitions will be permitted -- with social distancing. On August 21, Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam is set to headline a live concert at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It's one of the first major live gigs to be held in the city in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions. An ensemble of 18 musicians and performers will join him. https://gn24.ae/a4b8296e3609000
Image Credit: Gulf News archives
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60 FLIGHTS PER WEEK TO PAKISTAN: Emirates has also announced bumping up its services to/from six cities in Pakistan. This additional flight frequency cover Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Sialkot; and resume passenger services to Peshawar - providing customers worldwide with greater access to its expanding network.
Image Credit: Twitter
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66 FLYDUBAI DESTINATIONS: Airline bookings are up, with low-cost airline flydubai set to soar again. Besides Emirates' confirmation of the reopening of 70 destination cities, flydubai has also announced it will cover 66 destinations over the summer. Photo shows flydubai staff cleaning an aircraft cabin.
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RESET OF MEGA EVENTS: The pandemic has hit numerous events, including the Dubai Expo 2020, which would have been due for an October 2020 kick-off. As for sporting events, the 2020 Dubai World Cup and the World Sevens Series did not materialise in 2020. Still, the Dubai Rugby Sevens is tentatively set for December 2020.
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FROM OCTOBER 1, 2021: Dubai Expo, the world’s biggest party, has been postponed by a year. It will now run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, a delay that allows all participants to safely navigate the coronavirus impact.
Image Credit: Dubai Media Office
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VACCINE TRIALS: Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health (DoH), receives a shot of the candidate vaccine which uses Sinopharm's inactivated platform in Abu Dhabi. On August 7, 2020, 5,000 trial volunteers were confirmed for the Phase III study in the UAE. An inactivated vaccine is one of the safest vaccine platforms. Most trials showed "promise", which could mean multiple successes in multiple parts of the world.
Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Media Office
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CANDIDATE SHOT: Professor Martin Veller (L), the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), receives an experimental vaccine for COVID-19 coronavirus at the Respiratory & Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU) at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on July 14, 2020. Six senior clinicians at Wits University have volunteered to participate in South Africas first COVID-19 vaccine trial. In all of the trials (in Africa, South America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia) none of the died. Most volunteers had the usual swelling around the jab area and fever within 24 hours, which is expected, as the body fights the fake virus. A possible mild reaction from a vaccine is much better than the possibility of death due to severe COVID-19.
Image Credit: AFP)
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QUARANTINE HABIT WON’T BE EASY TO BREAK: Dr Phillippa Lally, a researcher at the University College London, published a study that found it takes an average of 66 days — more than two months (discrediting the earlier 21-day "rule") — to form a habit. More than six months into the pandemic, the habits we built around the quarantine may not be easy to break. They’re etched in our minds.
Image Credit: GIPHY