While Omicron, the new variant of the corona virus, has forced many countries of Europe to impose lockdown again, the United Arab Emirates or UAE is a country which is not showing much effect of Omicron.
This Gulf country has opened its doors to tourists from all over the world.
The UAE is battling Corona better than many other countries of the world due to its good speed of vaccination as well as extensive and affordable testing facilities during this global pandemic.
The UAE is currently among the top countries in Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking. In this ranking, 12 indicators like health facility standards of 53 countries, deaths due to corona infection and travel reopening have been included.
This is why despite Omicron outbreak in Europe, the UAE has been successful in controlling the infection and keeping the country open to tourists.
Due to the pandemic, Dubai, the UAE most populous city, has also transformed itself from a global tourist destination to a city protecting its people.
Cathy Johnston, Chief Chocolate Officer of Mirzam Chocolate Company, has been living in Dubai for 30 years. She says, “We all had to work together to protect each other. People are supporting local ideas and projects. Things are progressing slowly but slowly. Compared to two years ago, I It’s like I’ve landed on another planet and I love it.”
- Why go to UAE?
The people here say that the weather is fine here at this time. “October to May is the best time of year to visit Dubai as it is not too hot on the sea shore,” says Tala Mohammed, a resident of Dubai.
This means that in this season, the splendor of outdoor events and pleasant evenings returns once again. Such recreational activities can be seen everywhere at different locations in this coastal city.
The city is also hosting the six-month long ‘Expo 2020’, which will run till March 2022. Stalls of major companies from all over the world have been set up in this expo.
The companies involved are presenting their unique and diverse products and blueprints of their future plans.
Cathy Johnston says, “Don’t forget to go to the expo. Set aside a whole week for this. It doesn’t matter if you have to stand in line for three hours for Japanese sushi. The restaurant ‘Baron’ in the Expo Center offers dates Enjoy kheer and dream of stars under the sky at the Australian stall.”
- Unique journey
Dubai has worked hard over the past decade to build a more sustainable system with huge investments in solar energy, water conservation and green building and infrastructure.
The Sustainability Pavilion has been built separately at Expo 2020. A solar tree can be seen in this which gives both energy and shade.
Another attraction of the pavilion is a large vertical farm with 9,000 plants and herbs.
Kathy Johnston says, “Many restaurants have opened in the last two years. The pandemic has unexpectedly given local ingredients and skilled chefs an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
Tala Mohamed says that for a taste of Japanese cuisine with local ingredients, one can head to the rooftop restaurant Moonrise at Eden House. He explains, “For example, there is a Spanish dish Chutoro, which uses honey from Ras Al Khaimah, located 100 kilometers from Dubai. This eight-seat restaurant only has to be booked in advance.”
Local resident Vibha Dhawan is also a travel consultant for a travel company. She recommends going to ‘Boca’ restaurant. The restaurant uses salmon (a kind of fish) and local camel milk from a fish farm in the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, ‘The Sum of Us’ restaurant is one of the few cafes in Dubai that uses straws made from avocado seeds. A 10% discount is also offered to customers who bring reusable cups from home to this restaurant.
Vibha Dhawan recommends visiting Emirates Bio Farm to understand that these efforts related to creating environmental attachment in the city are sustained. This is the largest private sector organic farm in the country.
She says, “You go there in a group and the best time is late in the evening. This will give you a good view of their farm spread over several acres. There is also arrangement for delicious food throughout the year.”
Vibha Dhawan recommends ‘Al Maha Resort & Spa’ to enjoy the desert of UAE.
Located within the first National Park of Dubai, this five-star resort aims to preserve the desert environment as well as the rare Arabian deer.
Today a large herd of these Arabian deer, in which their number is close to 300, roam freely here without any fear and danger.
Work is being done for this for decades. Arrangements are made for visitors to visit the National Park on foot, jeeps, camels or horse along with field guides on site.
The recently built ’25 Hours One Central’ hotel in the heart of the city offers a whole new experience. The Arabic style is told here to entice the tourists.
The hotel lobby begins with a circular ‘Fountain of Tales’ library with over 5,000 books.
The art of local artists can be seen in this library. Artifacts presenting a beautiful blend of the life of ancient and modern nomadic Arab tribes can be seen throughout the hotel.
- What to know before going there
The travel restrictions are changing rapidly due to the Omicron variant, so be sure to visit the UAE Travel to Dubai website for the latest announcements and regulations.
Currently, Dubai is open to tourists who have taken a vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization. However, on arrival, tourists will also have to undergo a corona test.
Travelers should download the UAE official app ‘Al Hasan’ which uses a color-based code system to indicate COVID test results and vaccination status.